A Tapestry of Truth

A Tapestry of Truth

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“Every ‘ism’ isolates one strand from the rich fabric of truth.”

That’s a quote from the book our small group is studying–Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey. This week we talked about materialism, romanticism, empiricism and rationalism. Each one of these “isms” takes a thread of God’s truth and builds an entire belief system and explanation of life around it. According to Pearcey, each of the founders of these philosophies, in their search for ultimate truth and meaning, latched onto one piece of fiber snipped from the whole cloth and created an idol out of it. Francis Bacon built his world view on only what could be experienced by the senses. Descartes, (famous for “I think, therefore I am.”) believed that everything is literally “all in your head.” He regarded reason as the chief source and test of knowledge.

It’s easy for us to be critical of these narrow ideas. We are enlightened, aren’t we? But I was convicted as I studied this, wondering how often I do the same thing. How often do I grab onto one attribute of God or element of His truth because that’s what I need or all I care to handle at the moment?

We know that the triune God is:

Jealous for His people

We love these traits about our Lord. Well, most of them, most of the time. Sometimes we’d prefer to pick and choose.

When we are hurting, we take comfort in knowing He will never leave us. But when our minds are filled with thoughts we shouldn’t entertain, we kind of wish He’d step away. Not too far, just far enough to let us get away with something we know we shouldn’t.

When we mess up, we thank Him, once again, for His patience, grace, and forgiveness. But when it is a co-worker or family member who’s made a poor choice and caused us pain, are we just as quick to praise Him for His mercy toward them?

Dangling by a single thread, we often miss the beauty of the whole of God. His love without His justice would create a fuzzy tapestry of pastels, all blurred together without distinct shape. His forgiveness without His commands or His all-knowing presence would result in a mess of tangled threads. We’d be living in a senseless world…the messy back of a tapestry instead of the beautifully designed picture on the other side.

At the end of his life, Paul said, “… I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Some people walked away because they didn’t want to hear that God is more than love, forgiveness, and mercy. We like the shiny gold and silver threads, but they need the darker colors for contrast. We need to let go of our favorite, pretty colors and step back and embrace all of the attributes of our loving, wise, just, and merciful Father. Only then will we see the whole incredible picture.

Becky Melby About Becky Melby

Wisconsin resident Becky Melby is the author of the Lost Sanctuary Series and a dozen other contemporary fiction titles. Married for 43 years, mother of four, grandmother to fifteen, Becky thrives on writing, reading, camping, rides on the back of a silver Gold Wing, and time with family. Connect with her at her website or Facebook.


  1. This was thought-provoking, Becky. I’ve been wrestling through the attributes of God and praying about what name of God I will claim for this new year. What a wonderful reminder that he is all-in-all. Thank you for your wisdom!

  2. ‘Isms’ do threaten and can overpower and if we always look at the back of the tapestry, are overwhelmed. I love that God, in his mercy, allows up to see the beauty and richness of life. Thanks for your post.

  3. Wow, great thoughts. And so beautifully stated. I will be pondering the danger of isms for the next while…

  4. I love the word picture you’ve created.
    I’ve never liked “isms” because of their intangibility. (Why, yes, Virginia, that word IS in the dictionary!) As I learn more and more of God’s character, I want to imitate Him, make my faith practical, and apply His lessons to my life.

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