A long time ago in a far away land, King Crocodile called for a meeting of the animal ambassadors. Representatives from each species in the land came to hear the king’s announcement.
“Ambassadors,” King Crocodile began, “we are receiving a new species of animal into our land. To keep the order of the kingdom, we need to rightly define these newcomers. We must know the truth about who they are so that we can respond accordingly to keep balance in the land. I say to you that whoever rightly searches for the truth shall receive a great reward for your children. To gain this reward, you must love the truth and bring it to me.”
The animal ambassadors looked on with great curiosity as several members of this new animal family were introduced. King Crocodile commissioned these new animals to live among the other animals so that they may determine the proper classification for the kindgom’s newest members.
After spending some time with these newest members, Father Wedge-tailed Eagle, Father Magpie, and Mother Kookaburra held a private meeting.
“This animal lays eggs and is warm-blooded, just like us,” said Father Magpie. “We should declare to King Crocodile that this newcomer is a bird.”
Father Eagle turned to Mother Kookaburra. “Do you agree?”
“I agree that Father Magpie’s facts are correct,” replied the Kookaburra leader. “But, this animal nurses its young with milk. No other members of our Bird Family in the kingdom have this trait.”
Father Magpie quickly interjected, “But we cannot tell that to the king. If we want this reward, we must convince the king that we are correct. Telling the king that particular fact about how this animal nurses its young will only weaken our argument.”
Father Eagle sighed. A decision needed to be made.
Meanwhile, Mother Taipan and Father Bearded Dragon were trying to prepare their own declaration to the king.
“We have a strong case,” the Mother snake proposed, “to claim that this newcomer is a reptile like us. It has to be since it has venom glands.”
Father Bearded Dragon said, “Your observation of the venom glands is true, but surely the King will see that this animal has fur instead of scales like us.”
Mother Taipan replied, “Yes, others can see that if they choose to look, but if we say it out loud, it will contradict our version of the truth that we want the king to accept.”
The reptile leaders looked at each other. A decision needed to be made.
The next morning, the animal ambassadors gathered once again with King Crocodile. Both the birds and the reptiles made their case to the king that this animal rightly belonged to their part of the order.
After hearing both arguments, King Crocodile asked, “This decision is important, for it affects the balance of our Kingdom. Is there any more information you wish to offer before I classify our newcomer?”
Eagle, Magpie, Kookaburra, Taipan, and Bearded Dragon all considered the king’s question. Yes, there were facts to support their respective claims, but each animal leader also knew they had not offered full information to the king. Still, they dared not speak up for fear of losing the chance to receive the reward.
A sad look crossed wise King Crocodile’s face before he began to speak again. “Ambassadors, I tell you now that this newcomer species is neither a bird nor a reptile. It’s name is Platypus, and it is a mammal.”
The animal ambassadors dropped their shoulders. The reward was lost.
As if he could read their minds, King Crocodile added, “I was prepared to give the reward to all of your children. I know that the task before you was complex, but if you were listening carefully, I commanded you to love the truth and bring it to me.”
The king continued, “Each of you presented me with facts that supported your claim, but none of you were willing to offer all of the facts that you possessed. You did not love the whole truth. You loved only the truths that served you.”
The animal ambassadors all returned to their homes. While pondering the king’s words, Father Eagle watched as his daughter played with Father Bearded Dragon’s son. The children understood that there had been a competition of sorts, and that neither of their parents had won.
Seeing her father’s sad countenance, the young eagle approached and asked, “Why are you upset, Daddy? The king knew the truth anyway, and kept the order, right? It was just a competition.”
“Yes, my daughter,” Father Eagle gently responded, “but I see now that if your reptile friend’s Father and I could have discovered the truth together… if we had been open, honest, and cooperative instead of hiding in our corners trying to outdo each other, you and your friend could have received the reward of an undefiled search for truth.”
Donovan, I want your generation to receive the rewards of an undefiled search for truth. I hope for it, but if it is not to be, then you personally may still have rewards for yourself if you love truth and seek for it purely.
The Bible commands, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Poverbs 23:23). Because of my love for you, I wish to second that command with these thoughts:
The truth can be found.
You must take the time to find it so you can buy it.
But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7
Buy the truth, and buy all of it.
Do not buy counterfeit versions or incomplete sets. Do not cling to portions of it while ignoring or refusing to hear other parts. It may be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and unpopular. Still, be careful with your purchases by deciding to buy only the truth.
Buy the truth now.
The search for truth should not be a venture that you begin in the future. It should be today. It should be every day. If you are not using the compass of truth to direct your path even now, how can you hope to arrive at a good end?
Buy the truth, whatever the cost.
It does cost you, and it may cost you greatly. You may lose the praise of men. You may lose friends. You may lose power, position, or money. You may lose the chance to possess power, position, or money that you could have gained otherwise. Still, buy the truth at any price.
God will not have you pay with currency that goes against His word, but it may certainly be with currency that contradicts your own comforts and wishes. Whatever the cost, it is still far less than the ultimate cost of ignorance. Whatever the cost, God in His faithfulness will ensure that the value of your purchase is greater than the price you paid.
Sell it not.
Once you possess the truth, do not sell it… not for a job, not for a woman, not for popularity, not out of laziness. To exchange truth for a lie will only lead to ruin. Also, be warned that people on both sides of an argument may ask you to sell important and verified facts so that their position appears more coherent and complete. Do not sell the truth.
Keep the truth encased in love.
“Yes, if truth is not undergirded by love, it makes the possessor of that truth obnoxious and the truth repulsive.” Ravi Zacharias
The truth will change you.
Obedience to God’s truth requires changes, adjustments, and corrections in yourself all along the journey to become more like His Son.
Here are C.H. Spurgeon’s words about this proverbial command:
“Even so, the text seems to tell us that truth is the one pearl beneath the skies that is worth having; and whatever else we buy not, we must buy the truth; and whatever else we may have to sell, yet we must never sell the truth, but hold it fast as a treasure that will last us when gold has cankered and silver has rusted and the moth has eaten up all goodly garments, and when all the riches of men have gone like a puff of smoke, or melted in the heat of the judgment day like the dew in the beams of the morning sun. Buy the truth. Here is the treasure. Cost it what it may, buy you it. Here is the piece of merchandise which you must buy but must not sell. You may give all for it, but you may take nothing in exchange for it since there is nothing that can be likened unto it.”
When you were little, you loved pretending to be a pirate. With your eye patch and swords, you would set out on journeys to find treasure. As you now make your final transition from that little boy to manhood, I hope that you will continue to be a treasure hunter. God’s truth is the treasure. Find it, buy it, and guard it. It is the map that leads to joy, security, and rewards that cannot be stolen, both in this world and the next.
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
I love you forever,
Your truth-seeking mama