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The Cost of Truth

“Buy truth, and do not sell it” (Proverbs 23:23).

To buy the truth implies that there is a price we must pay. What sort of things must we be willing to give up? 


To buy the truth often means admitting that we were wrong. Therefore, we need humility when we engage in a study of the Scriptures. James said that we are supposed to receive the word “with meekness” (James 1:21). But not only must we not take pride in our own limited understanding, we are not to take pride in traditions, preachers, churches, etc. It could be that the traditions in which we take pride are contrary to God’s word and render our worship vain (Matthew 15:6–9). It might be that the preachers in which we place our trust are in error and need to be corrected (Acts 18:24–26; Galatians 2:11–14). Or perhaps the church with which we worship has “the reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1). In every way, we must humbly submit to the will of God and conform our beliefs, teachings, and practices to the truth that we find in the Scriptures. 

Time and Effort

While God’s word is understandable (Ephesians 3:4), we are not born with an understanding of it. We must study so that we are “rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). This must be a continual process in which we grow and mature in our understanding of the will of God. We must “give attention to reading” (1 Timothy 4:13, NKJV) so that we might “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). As the noble-minded Bereans, we should study the Scriptures daily so that we might develop an understanding of God’s word (Acts 17:11). We must be willing to devote the time and effort necessary to learn the truth. 

Friends and Family

Sadly, buying the truth often puts one at odds with others who refuse to accept the truth themselves. Jesus warned His apostles that the world would hate them (John 15:18–19). Peter warned Christians to “not be surprised at the fiery trial” which was going to come upon them (1 Peter 4:12). This trouble to which he referred was not the general hardships of life that all people must endure. Instead, they were going to suffer “as a Christian” (1 Peter 4:16). Jesus even warned that the opposition we face for following Him will sometimes come from those who are closest to us. “A person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:36). We may have to sacrifice certain relationships in this life for the sake of the truth. 

Do Not Sell the Truth 

To sell the truth is to compromise it or even abandon it altogether. Why do some choose to do this? Jesus gives us an answer in the following passage: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13–14). 

Jesus says that the way of error is easier and more popular than the way of truth. Sadly, many are short-sighted and choose the ease and popularity of the broad way. Peter said that one who does not continue to grow as they should is “so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:9). We must not sell the truth—either through compromise or outright abandonment of it. 

Only the truth found in the Scriptures is able to provide us with “wisdom, instruction, and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23) in things pertaining to God. Let us always remember the value of truth and be committed to doing what is necessary in order to obtain it.

—Andy Sochor