What Color is the Dress?


Do you remember the most debated social topic of 2015…“What color is the dress? Is it black and blue or is it white and gold?” People were actually angry and fighting over who was right.

Some people concluded, “What is true for you is not true for me. I see one color and you see another.” Others responded, “There is one true answer, regardless of what eyes are seeing. And I’m right!”

I was curious so upon investigation, I learned that we see the color of objects based upon how we interpret the light around those objects. In the case of the dress, people were interpreting the ambiguous lighting in the photo differently. It was difficult to tell if the light in the room with the dress was bright or dim so everyone’s brains made assumptions. If your brain told you that the dress was in a bright room, you saw the dress as black and blue. If your brain decided the dress was in a darker room, it concluded the dress must be white and gold. Essentially, some people’s brains were tricking them into seeing the dress as a different color than it really was.

The truth is…the actual dress was blue and black.

So it goes in life. People debate what is true. I believe that absolute truth exists but this is the deal…I cannot profess that I absolutely know all truth. I am growing. I am a limited creature trying to understand and be faithful to our God. His wisdom is more profound that any of us can ever comprehend on this side of heaven.

As a follower of Jesus, I believe that all spiritual and moral truths are accurately represented in God’s nature. I believe His thoughts and His will are revealed through Scripture and are on display in the life and teachings of Jesus.

However, there are people who claim they can determine truth apart from God. They have decided that man has the intellectual capacity to determine truth through reason and logic. So if no answer can be proven or known with certainty, then each person is free to choose any truth they desire. Hence, the argument “what is true for you may not be true for me.”

The problem I see is that without absolute moral truth, how can anyone declare Hitler was evil? How can we declare racism and slavery are wrong? How can we effectively fight for justice and rights? If you take God out of the equation and give each individual the right to determine what is true versus what is a lie, what is good versus what is evil, what is right versus what is wrong then we would be in a heap of trouble, my friends. Chaos and mayhem would abound.

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, simplifies it. He says, “I am the way and the truth…” (John 14:6). I believe Him. I trust His promises are always kept. I believe He only speaks truth.

People may try to paint the background a different color. Circumstances may cause shadows to fall. But they don’t change the Truth, found in the person of Jesus. For me, I must keep my eyes on Him, trusting Him and not the surrounding elements.

John 1:17 revealed that Jesus is full of grace and truth.We see evidence of His grace every time He reaches out to the least, the last and the lost. He is FULL of grace.

We also see Him speak truth even when people didn’t want to listen, even when authorities became angry, even when He knew He would lose followers, and even when He knew it would send Him to the cross. He is FULL of truth. But He always, always speaks truth in love.

A man I deeply respect and from whom I have learned so much is the apologist and author, Ravi Zacharias. He died Tuesday and his death is a huge loss to this world. This brilliant man was convinced of the truth and devoted His life accordingly. He once said, “My goal is to satisfy the hunger and longing for those who are seeking the truth.”

I was always struck by his kindness when he shared truth. He could be challenged by someone bearing a condescending tone, yet Ravi’s response would be clothed with grace and love. In fact, he once said, “Yes, if truth is not undergirded by love, it makes the possessor of that truth obnoxious and the truth repulsive.”

May we be a people who seek Truth, proclaim Truth and live our lives shaped by Truth, while always exuding the grace, kindness and love of Jesus.

Thought to ponder:

God said, “I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right” (Isaiah 45:19). So do I trust God’s ways and truth even when I don’t understand?


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