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3 John 12 • From the Truth Itself

"Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true."
    —3 John 12 (NASB)

For the Gospel writer that captured more of Jesus' statements regarding "love" than the rest, it's amazing how he also leads the pack in the most quotes and references to "truth". Through John's writings we learn that biblical love cannot exist without knowing the truth, the process of sanctification is rooted in knowing the truth, and according to this verse one's reputation and associated testimonials must be rooted in the truth.

What are the characteristics that we'd normally list when giving an "inventory" of a person's good qualities, the things that we'd highlight when recommending someone? "Great person". "Warm". "Dedicated". "Loves the Lord". "Has a heart for ministry." "Team player." Does the visible evidence of God's truth in their life and actions ever make such a list?

When I think honestly about it, some of the most oft-identified "problem" people in organizations I've been associated with, people for which there was a general consensus that these were the most difficult personalities to get along with, were very often people that clung to a very pronounced definition of God's truth in their life. Although labeled as having a limited view or extreme in their application of biblical truth, they practiced their beliefs with more fervor and dedication than the mainstream adhered to their own.

Sometimes I wonder if it isn't the majority opinion that causes more division in the end than the minority opposition of the "odd ones" in our midst. After all, the biblical record of groups' mutual decisions are overwhelmingly bad. "Make us a golden calf". "We can't conquer the Promised Land." "Let's kill Joseph." The radical odd ones, clinging to their "narrow" view of the truth, have turned out to be the best biblical role models. Perhaps we need to make our evaluations more "from the truth itself".