I Was Just Thinking About - - -
From the beginning of time, there has been an obvious need to discern between truth and error, as well as reality and fabrication. It matters little where one seeks to make his or her determination. The search for truth and reality can be easily frustrated if one looks in the area of politics, law, education, religion - all can offer that which is vague and false. An entry in the Athens Survival Guide, Adrian Vrettos writes about: “In Search Of An Honest Man.” Some of the narrative indicates the following: “Diogenes the Cynic…spent most of his life chilling in his barrel outside the city-state of Corinth. He was a cynic because he believed that men and women lived a life dictated by rules and taboos and therefore no one was really truthful or honest…Diogenes…was witty, rude, and had little respect for authority. When Alexander the Great rode down to visit Diogenes in his barrel, he offered Diogenes any gift of his choice. With a scowl, Diogenes snapped back his response: What you've taken away, you can never give me…What most people know about Diogenes is that he wandered around ancient Greece carrying a lantern and searching for an honest man…What most people don't know is why he went searching for an honest man when he believed, as a Cynic, that there was no such person…However…it may have had to do with the fact that he and his father had been accused of embezzling money from the Corinthian mint, where they had worked. Perhaps Diogenes was trying to prove that nobody is completely honest and thus wipe the slate clean from his little misdemeanor.”
Was the quest of Diogenes valid? Is his conclusion accurate that one can search endlessly and never find an honest man? We can speculate that if Diogenes had searched in the right places and had looked at the right people he would have found examples of truth and reality. Examples can serve one well. An old saying has merit in terms of discerning that which is true and real, indicating that the wise person would do well to emulate what is being observed. The words are: “It’s more caught than taught.” Words are empty of meaning and value if there is no demonstration of truth and reality attached to them. I read somewhere that examples are an extremely common method of teaching in everyday life. Good teachers do not just directly state how to do things. Often they will show the student what to do by doing it and letting the student observe the example. Then the teacher can say, Now, do what I just did. A father may show his son how to work on a car; a mother may show a daughter how to bake a cake or to sew; or a teacher may show a student how to do a math problem. Instances surround us daily.
The Bible contains examples that show negative thought and behavior, as well as positive determination and application of foundational principles for life. The positive behavior and words for one to live by are recorded in I Timothy 4:12, “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” The instruction is for one to demonstrate truth and reality through one’s behavior. The thrust is, Don’t be an imitation, phony or hypocrite. In I Corinthians 4:15-16, Paul would caution and urge: “For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.” Be an Imitator - nat an Imitation. Daniel is a book in the Bible that illustrates the quest and conquest of that which is true and real. Daniel 1:8 (NKJV) share the purposeful and principled words of Daniel (and his three friends). “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” When challenged to compromise their religious beliefs, the statement of confidence and dependence are given in Daniel 3:16-18 (NKJV), “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand…we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." Daniel and his friends were respectful. They were disciplined men who would not appear as being either ostentatious (conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others) or obnoxious. Their decision and behavior was based upon Biblical principles and personal commitment to honor the Lord in all things. Consider these things with me.