Prov 23:23, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding”.
How do we buy the truth? Prov 2:1-5 tells us how. “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, 2 so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”
We buy the truth when we study it and cry out to God for understanding. In other words it costs us something; it takes effort to acquire it. If you want to own a new car you have to work for it; if you want to own the truth you have to work for it. This not only relates to personal Bible study, even in the listening of sermons we need to apply ourselves (Acts 17:10-11).
The idea of selling the truth is to surrender it or compromise it for an easier option; it becomes too inconvenient and costly to hang on to. Think of the person who makes a profession of faith only to return to a sinful lifestyle. Truth has been sold for self-gratification. Think of the Christian attending a good Reformed church, yet they opt for something “wishy washy” because there is less expectation. Truth has been sold in order to accommodate other interests.
Truth is most easily given up by those who do not really value it. If we have bought the truth, it has been personalised and it means something. People who work hard to get ahead in life generally look after what they have and don’t easily give it up. On the other hand, people who sponge off others often don’t appreciate what they are given and are quick to desire whatever else captures their attention.
Truth is precious above all else and worth working for. For those who apply themselves little to the gaining of truth, little will they do to keep what they have.