There's a difference between being a lover of truth and being one who simply knows true information or correct doctrines. I believe that one thing that defines John as being a lover of truth is that he loved and knew Truth personified, the Lord Jesus. John's writings about Jesus are very personal writings. Much more than simply giving data and facts about the Man, John shares from a deep personal relationship with Him.
I want to suggest some characteristics of being a lover of truth:
- An ongoing and growing relationship with Jesus who is Truth personified; i.e., not settling for facts and doctrines about Him but asking His Spirit for encounters (whatever that may look like for each person) with Him and an understanding of Who He is and what He's like, how He feels and thinks about His creation in general and of me in particular.
- A holy desire for truth that is strong enough to be willing to 'unlearn' whatever you need to in order to continue to mature in knowing and loving the Truth. We should never be content with what we have learned. This can be painful for us because it disorients us to discover that something we were so sure of a little while ago isn't aligned with the full truth of the Kingdom of God. It takes great courage and humility and desire to love the Truth.
- Walking in the Truth; i.e., not being hearers only but doers of the Truth, obeying and imitating Jesus in our daily living.