A week ago I read an article that the Oxford Dictionary had decided on their word of 2016. As a bit of a logophile (someone in love with words), I am intrigued with the language trends of each year.
I mean, 2015 was the year of emoji. And 2013 it was selfie. Fascinating.
This year, though, I’m not so happy snappy about the word of the year. It holds no whimsey for me, no fun. This year’s word makes me sad.
2016’s Oxford word? Post-truth.
Here’s the cringe-worthy definition.
Post-truth: Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.
So, essentially, how you feel matters more than truth. How you believe, even in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary, is more relevant than truth.
In other words, truth is slimmed down. Anemic. Impotent. Unimportant.
To that I roll my eyes and sigh deeply.
Friends, truth still matters. Always has, always will. Lies are destructive. Always have been, always will be.
Our words matter. The words that come from our mouth or fingers or thumbs. Every single one holds power for good or harm.
Truth still matters.
But how do I teach my children that truth still matters when what’s swirling around our culture is a whole bunch of post-truth mumbo jumbo? How do I teach them that their integrity is valuable when we see so many leaders and soon-to-be leaders lying at every turn? How do I instill in them that honesty is important when even some who claim to be church leaders excuse this post-truth notion as being all right?
You know how I’m going to try it?
By being the best example I can be. By holding truth as a virtue – a God honoring virtue – in our home. By doing my very best to help them discern truth from lies. And by calling post-truth out for what it is.
Post-truth is empty and dark. It’s a hole that will suck us in if we let it. It’s a vacuous, dangerous, soul-diminishing trap.
But we don’t have to even approach that hole. We’d do best not to even tip toe along the edge. Our best bet is to listen to what Jesus had to say about truth.
That when we hold to His teachings and follow Him we will know the truth. And that truth will liberate us. It will set us free.
Friends, cling to what’s true with all you’ve got.
Truth still matters.