The Difference Between Facts and Truth

Assessment versus Response

A “fact” is an accurate assessment of a situation. “Truth” is an accurate response to a situation. While the two words are often used interchangeably, it’s healthy to recognize the profound difference that exists between the two.

Facts are based on knowledge. Statistics, status reports, studies, polls – empirical readings of whatever it is that’s being considered. Think of it has having money. The more knowledgeable you are, the more capital you have access to.

Truth, on the other hand is based on wisdom. It’s the ability to take all that knowledge and process it in a way that results in a right decision. If you go back to the illustration of wealth, where knowledge would be having capital, wisdom would be knowing how to allocate that money.


Ultimately, it comes down to perspective. Look at Proverbs 9:10:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Prov 9:10)

If I limit my intake of criteria to what I can see and whatever most resonates with my personal preferences, the end result is an outlook that may appear sound, but is ultimately ill equipped to effectively stand up against the reality of life where a more comprehensive and unpredictable collection of  variables exists.

To be accurate in the way I formulate my convictions, I must base my perspective on an Absolute Resource that transcends cultural inclinations, personal opinions and human perspectives. Only by hitching my philosophical wagon to an unchanging and all-knowing dynamic do I emerge with an approach that can accommodate what lies beyond the human capacity to see and understand.

An Emphasis on Wisdom

That’s why Scripture places such and emphasis on wisdom, because it’s based on a dependence and commitment to God more so than a self sufficient bravado that attempts to supersede Divine omniscience with human intelligence.

So pursue facts for the sake of being informed, but seek Truth for the sake of being wise. That’s the difference between facts and Truth and the difference between failure and success.


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