I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
- Philippians 4.11
Four things cover up the truth:/love and fear,/indulgence and poverty.
- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)
I love the riddle-like form of certain aspects of Irish spiritual poetry.
The Irish in Colman's day were all about proclaiming truth, embodying truth, making truth known by every possible means. Their courage and creativity in scattering the Word of God and planting it in the soils of hearts and cultures made a considerable difference in the Europe of their day.
So they knew a thing or two about disseminating truth and about covering it up.
Four things especially were to be guarded against, lest they cover up the truth:
Love: We might think that love will lead us to truth, and, indeed, it will. Unless we love the wrong things. If our longings, desires, and delight are focused on the things of this life, then we deceive ourselves into thinking that happiness is to be found in experiences and things. Only if we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength will we know the truth that sets us free from the slavery of stuff.
Fear: In the same way, if we fear men more than God, we may sublimate the truth, or otherwise keep quiet about it, so that we don't "upset" anyone by standing firm on the Word of God. But if we fear God as we should, we're more likely to live and proclaim the truth, in season and out.
Indulgence: Like love, by indulging our flesh in the wrong things we create idols that can never satisfy the deep needs of our souls. But if we indulge in God and the disciplines that lead us to Him, then we shall know, rather than cover up, the truth.
Poverty: If we bemoan our lack of things, so that we despise poverty and want, then we only show that we are idolaters at heart. But if we can be content in all situations, including poverty, because our focus is on our treasure in heaven, then not even poverty can cover up the truth from our eyes.
What "good things" are keeping you from more exposure to and deeper immersion in God's truth? Don't let your loves and fears, indulgences and wants become confused, so that you take your eyes off Jesus or put your hope in anything other than His Word.
We cover up the truth when we look to anything other than the truth to set us free to live for Jesus. Love Jesus. Fear Jesus. Indulge in Jesus. In His poverty be rich.
And then you'll know, live, and proclaim the truth.
T. M. Moore, Principal
Still time to order a book or two for Christmas presents. We recommend T. M.'s latest book, Satan Bound: A Theology of Evil. You will find this a delightful but disconcerting foray into the mind of the devil. But it will also fill you with the joy of your salvation in Jesus.