middot truth besorah truth in 3D

truth in 3D

Written by  rabbi russ resnik

art-3dglassesPreparing to teach or preach Scripture is hard work and Rabbi Leffin’s maxim doesn’t make it any easier: “Do not allow anything to pass your lips that you are not certain is completely true.” This saying applies to everyone, but if we have to watch out for what passes our lips in general, how much more watchful must we be when we’re handling the Word of God? That’s why Ya’akov instructs us, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, since you know that we will be judged more severely”. --James 3:1 CJB

For teachers, the charge to limit ourselves to what is “completely true” should make us tremble. Preparing a message like that takes work in three dimensions. For our words to be true in the truest sense, to come across in 3-D, they have to reflect all three:

  1. Are my words true to the words of Scripture?

It takes effort and discipline to accurately interpret the text. If I’m going to be true to Scripture I can’t read it with my message or my opinions already set and just use its words to prove or illustrate what I already had in mind. I have to enter the thought-world of Scripture and let its words shape my understanding.

  1. Are my words true to the perspective of Scripture on life here and now?

Interpretation takes hard work with the text, but it’s not a matter of just analyzing the text, understanding its setting and original message, and stopping there. The second dimension of truth is bearing the ancient message into the realities of life here and now. Biblical truth is never abstract.

  1. Are my words true to the way I actually live?

But even if my message accurately captures the original message and makes it up-to-date and relevant, I have to ask if I believe it enough to be doing it myself. If I preach something I don’t do, it’s not completely true. I shouldn’t allow it to “pass my lips” until I’ve taken it to heart myself.

When I take this kind of responsibility for my message it has a chance to pop off the bema in 3-D, surround the listeners with its reality, and draw them in.

I’ve applied these three dimensions to those who teach scripture, but God tells all Israel,

“Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.” (Deut. 6:6–7).

And Yeshua assigns every one of his followers to be a witness and bear his word. So the challenge of portraying truth in 3-D applies to us all.

Rate this item
(2 votes)
More in this category: « responsible truth

this week

Moshe Rabbenu teaches loving-kindness
Here's a drash on loving-kindness adapted from my book Creation to Completion, wh . . .
chesed and truth
For the Torah was given through Moshe; chesed and truth came through Yeshua the M . . .
chesed and forgiveness
In his commentaries in both the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur Koren Machzorim Rabbi . . .
how the world stands
A woman died and left no money to pay for her funeral. She was an inhabitant of o . . .
His chesed is always there!
One of the high points of the Passover Seder every year, especially when our ki . . .
do a chesed
There was an older gentleman I used to to interact with fairly regularly at a Ra . . .
bottled up kindness
'The kindnesses of the Lord I shall sing forever; to generation after generation . . .
showering chesed
The Hebrew word for loving-kindness is chesed.    . . .

Member Login

Login to access podcasts, special content, discussion forums and user blogs.