I posted the above quote yesterday on Facebook. One of my friends commented, "But how wonderful when we find friends who are seeking truth!"
I so appreciated his comment which brought balance to the quote. He helped me see another way these words could be taken. How amazing! Just nine words can convey such different concepts.
When I posted the quote, my focus was on how rare it is to see people in true friendship, caring enough about truth that they hold each other accountable and are secure enough in understanding their worth before God that they can embrace the process of being questioned, challenged, and made to deepen their understanding of themselves and truth.
On the other hand, these words could give me an excuse to do what I want to do, even while calling it 'pursuing truth.' I could think, "Let my friends say what they will, I'm going to do what I believe I'm free to do." Paul calls this taking occasion for the flesh. "...only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Gal 5:13)
It is so easy to believe true what we wish to be true.
At times, the human condition seems incredibly complex, and yet, when we are willing to look at ourselves as the New Testament teaches (of course, always coming out of the context of the Old) and die to our own willfulness, I don't think it's nearly as difficult as it might appear.
There has to be a humbling, a facing of what I am, an acceptance of the reality that I will always need help. I am always capable of self-deception and may need a friend to help me see it. Not one of us is an island.
In this light, may it be understood that the nugget I am pondering and promoting in Aristotle's quote is that truth must prevail in our lives. We must not bend to our natural desires to be "right," to be liked, affirmed, thought to be smart or whatever else makes us feel valuable outside of God. These are all desires that are a part of our "natural man," our "flesh," and they will lead us astray. Such desires, as Christians, we "crucify" and "walk not after." "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Gal 5:24)
We must realize, we are in need of a constant pursuit of truth and we need other believers to be iron that sharpens iron.
If you don't have friends who are questioning you and challenging you to look at issues on a regular basis, I pray you will find some! Such true friends are like mirrors who help us continue to see if we are walking in truth. They help us see if Jesus is reflected accurately in our lives.
I wish you, my dear reader, true friends, mirrors!
"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Heb 10:24-25 )