“You can’t handle the truth” was the memorable line from the 1992 movie “A Few Good Men” delivered by the menacing Colonel Nathan Jessup (the actor Jack Nicholson). It was a powerful line. Too often we can be afraid of the truth…. maybe we don’t like the truth…maybe the truth will cause us problems. So we simply deny the truth …. we “bury our head in the sand”. I think we can all tend to do that at times.
Have you heard the term “confirmation bias” …..it’s a tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.”
For example, a person may cherry-pick empirical data that supports one’s belief, ignoring the remainder of the data that is not supportive. The effect is strongest for desired outcomes, for emotionally charged issues, and for deeply entrenched beliefs” With this bias, you only remember the bits of information that confirm what they already thought. During an election season, for example, people tend to seek positive information that paints their favored candidates in a good light. They will also look for information that casts the opposing candidate in a negative light….hmmmm, sounds familiar.
It’s reported that we all have confirmation bias. “Even if you believe you are very open-minded and only observe the facts before coming to conclusions, it’s very likely that some bias will shape your opinion in the end. It’s very difficult to combat this natural tendency.” (VeryWell Mind. an on-line mental health resource.) Wow, that sounds pretty complicated.
Because I can “fool myself” about the truth in a particular situation, doesn’t mean it’s the truth. The truth is only the truth , if it’s true…..duuuuugh. I can convince myself that gravity doesn’t exist and therefore I can fly or at least float in the wind…but if I jump off that building, the real truth and not my “confirmation bias” will take over and I will become “a dot on the country side”.
Well, it’s to our great benefit that we really seek out the truth and its consequences…otherwise it’s just “wishful thinking” and that tends to come back to haunt us.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father but by me”.(John 14:6) Ultimately the truth will reveal itself.. in the end we will all find out the truth. But it behooves each of us to pray now that we won’t be biased and deny the truth, and that the truth will set us free. The truth matters now in our personal life and family and country…but it will really matter as we move into eternity.