We see in part, know in part, and speak partial truths.
Every time two people or groups are engaged in communication, there are always three versions of truth.
Absolute truth – reality as it truly is.
My truth – my perception of absolute truth, which can, and often is different from the absolute truth.
Your truth – your perception of absolute truth, which can, and often is different from the absolute truth.
The mouth speaks what the heart is full of
My truth is my honest perception/understanding of the absolute truth. We each have a set of glasses through which we discern what the absolute truth is. My set of glasses are my paradigm, my worldview, my mindset which is created by my past experiences, personal biases, idiosyncrasies, my personal passions, and personality.
It’s true that our mouths speak what the heart is full of. When I speak to you, what I say is really about me, not about you. When I speak, I reflect myself through my words. As such, my words are about me. They reflect my heart because what flows out of my heart paints a picture of my heart. No matter what I say about you, my words and actions never accurately describe you. Instead, my words describe me in every single way. When you look at my words and actions, you see me. Our mouths speak from the overflow of our hearts. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks!
When I tell you something, I am telling you my opinion of the absolute truth, never the absolute truth.
Agreement with each other happens when our versions of truth agree. Agreement with each other and absolute truth happen when our versions of truth agree with each other and with the absolute truth.
If I were to tell you about a scientific process or phenomenon, I will be telling you my perception of that phenomenon, not usually the whole truth about it. And often, my perception of it has half-truths and falsehoods in there.
If I were to tell you something about the nature of God, for example, I will only be telling you my perception or understanding of that nature of God. And often, my perception of it has half-truths and falsehoods in there.
If I am humble, I will not be offended or take things personally when you don’t agree with my perception. Why? Because even though I am so sure that I am right, that personal assurance doesn’t guarantee that I will actually be right.
Don’t claim absolute truth, let absolute truth claim you!
When I am in a situation where my view of things is different from the views of others, I’m learning not to speak as though my views were without a doubt the certified absolute truth. Instead of stating my opinion as absolute truth–which by default means everyone else is wrong–I’ll say something like this:
“Here is how I see it. When I look at the evidence found in literature, here is what I believe is the explanation for this phenomenon (or here is what I think is right). I’m not saying that my way is the only way. I’m not even saying that my way is necessarily the right way. I’m simply saying that when I look at the evidence, this is what I find. And I will be glad to explain further how I come to this conclusion if anyone is interested.”
Absolute truth is able to speak for itself, defend itself, and stand for itself. We don’t need to be too quick to speak for it or try to win people over to the site of truth. If we see the truth, it’s because truth has spoken to us and we have heard the truth. And we hear in part and not in full. We make mistakes in discerning truth. And we can never speak with full certainty. As such, in stating our view of truth, we must do so boldly, but we must make sure we make clear that we are speaking what we perceive to be the truth, that it is our own view, subject to the errors of our own intellectual faculties. We must make sure we state that we make no claims of our views being the absolute truth. We only speak what we see. This leaves room for error. It leaves room for us to hear what others have to say and to be open to learning from it and have our own views corrected by what others have seen. In a sense, I think absolute truth is happier when we do so because we don’t make false representations of it, which we sometimes do out of an uninformed passion to make the truth known. Absolute truth values truth more than its very own discovery. It glories in truth.
Remember, your version of the truth may not be the absolute truth. Declare your version with humility and be open to learning.