Last week we discussed the sin model of human growth, as discussed in How People Grow (Cloud & Townsend, 2001). This week we will cover the truth model. The truth model argues that if we just understand truth, we will be set free from sin and struggle.
The underlying premise behind the truth model is that if you don’t experience “freedom in Christ,” you lack or don’t understand the “truth”. The solution? Read, study, and memorize scripture. If you do this enough, eventually, you will be set free and know the truth not just in your mind but also in your heart (Cloud & Townsend, 2001). I can see this model playing out a lot in my life. I have spent much time studying the Bible, seeking to understand it and be able to apply it in my life. I even conduct exegetical analysis of Biblical truth and its connection to leadership for a living!
I once had a Christian counselor tell me that faith had three components. First is knowledge, which includes knowing the truth through the intellect. Doing or works, because “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26). And, finally, belief or faith and trust in God. As a performance-based personality, I tend to focus on the first two, knowledge and doing. However, without the last, belief and trust in God, struggle is bound to happen. The weakness of the truth model is its emphasis on the first part, knowledge.
For me, this often surfaces as “analysis paralysis”. Often, when I am faced with challenges or struggles in life, I go directly to the Bible, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, I’m often not going to the Bible to seek assurance and guidance but rather to find the “right” answer to the problem. I don’t go with a humble and dependent heart, but rather an anxious and self-focused heart intent on solving the problem rather than connecting with God.
Again, don’t get me wrong, the truth will set you free (John 8:32). However, all the reading and memorization won’t get you anywhere if your relationship with God is about problem-solving rather than true dependence. What is your relationship to the truth? God?
Next time, we will cover the experiential model of human growth.
Contributed by Liz Hunt
Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (2001). How people grow: What the Bible reveals about personal growth. Zondervan.https://rhubarbandrubbish.com/2023/01/the-sin-model-the-limits-of-confessing-sin/: The Truth Model: The Truth Will Set You Free https://rhubarbandrubbish.com/2023/01/the-experiential-model-i-am-my-experience/: The Truth Model: The Truth Will Set You Free https://rhubarbandrubbish.com/2023/01/magical-thinking-does-god-have-a-magic-wand/: The Truth Model: The Truth Will Set You Free