What is ‘the love of the truth’?

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From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 9 – What is ‘the love of the truth’ and why does truth matter so much to God?

The love of the truth is a technical phrase used in the Bible. It refers to having a heart-attitude which values and pursues the truth for its own sake, not just because we want to avoid getting into trouble for lying. In the verse below, apostle Paul refers to the love of the truth in the context of explaining why so many people will follow the antichrist when he comes.

They will be deceived by him precisely because “they did not receive the love of the truth”. The truth does not matter to them enough, or even at all. Thus, in the end, God will allow them to lose the very ability to tell the difference between truth and falsehood at all. Then they will become fully deluded, such that they will even follow someone as wicked and deceitful as the antichrist:

8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 (NASB)

If we keep on rejecting and despising the truth, there will come a point at which God Himself will respond by deliberately taking away our capacity even to know what is true. The taking away of that faculty will leave us very prone to being deceived. But such deception would still be our own fault, because the very reason we lost the faculty of discernment was that we did not value the truth when we had the chance to see it. That is we had no regard for the truth in the past, while we were still capable of recognising it.

We need to ask God to help us to develop this quality of absolute truthfulness. We need to love the truth very deeply, such that truth really matters to us for its own sake. If that is our approach, we will be protected from countless problems, and from arousing the opposition of God Himself. More importantly, we will be doing what is right.

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