Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 to think about things that are true, noble, right…. (and a long list of other virtuous things). Let’s look at the first one: True.
True is a term that represents the standard for something. You can travel northward and go generally north or you can go “true north”, which means you are spot on the mark of the north direction. Any deviation to the east or west (even a tiny one) is not true north. A plumline is called “true” when it is perfectly balanced in a straight line downward. When a carpenter levels a horizontal surface, the line is true when it is perfectly level.
As Christians, we believe that God is the standard of perfect. He is true north. Jesus called Himself the way, the truth, and the life. So to think about things that are true are to think about things that are pure and right (other words used in Paul’s list here).
When I first met Sarah, I could have disguised myself as someone that I wasn’t. I could have presented a fake version of myself to try to win her heart. But that would not have been true. Similarly, I could have tried to view her as someone that she wasn’t in some effort to imagine a fake idealistic woman of my dreams (the good news is that I got better than the woman of my dreams in Sarah :). She and I thought about truth and reality when we met and dated and that set us up for a marriage of trust, honesty, and raw humanness.
Disguises are not true. Lies are not true. Fakes are not true. The proof is in the pudding. And Christians are called to think about truth rather than lies, reality rather than foolish fakery, and honesty rather than deception.