“I am the way and the truth and the life.” -John 14:6
A war is raging… not your typical war with weapons and death, but a war of ideas and information. Whether we watch TV or scroll through our social media news feeds, we are constantly being bombarded with information. Much of this information is conflicting, depending on what channels we tune into or who our friends are. It’s becoming nearly impossible to find the TRUTH! Fox News paints an entirely different picture of reality than CNN does. Our liberal friends will typically post a drastically different opinion than our conservative friends will. There are so many voices, ideas and opinions vying for our beliefs that it can be exhausting trying to figure out what way is up and what way is down. Can you relate? There are so many competing social justice movements, where there is seemingly no middle ground to stand on, that it feels like the very foundations of our consciousness are shaking. This war may not be producing physical wounds (unless you are rioting in the streets), but it is producing wounded souls and broken relationships. How many of you have wandered onto a social media thread to offer your opinion and received a barrage of excessively negative and hateful comments? I know I have! Some people are thicker skinned than others, but no one enjoys being demeaned for holding differing viewpoints. In the middle of this information crossfire, so many are just longing for the truth. What is truth? In John 18:37 Jesus says, “The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Right now it’s so hard to tell the difference between fact and fiction, truth and lies, reality and fantasy. The lines are blurred. I have witnessed many of the media outlets reporting opinions as facts. What is the difference between a fact and an opinion? A fact is true information, such as: It is raining today. An opinion expresses how someone thinks or feels about true information, such as: I’m sad it’s raining today. Facts are objective and opinions are subjective. The role of the news media is to report facts, data and true information. It is the reader’s job to take in the information, think critically and derive their own opinions. Free thinking people do not need the media to tell us how to feel or what to think about information. Media with this agenda is not a free media, but instead has become propaganda.
Speaking of propaganda, the media has reported outright lies as well. What is a lie? A lie is false information or true information that has been twisted in order to deceive, such as: It is not raining today, so don’t take your umbrella (meanwhile you go out and get soaked in the rain). Satan is a master at lying. Speaking about Satan, Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Jesus leaves no room for doubt that all lies come from the devil. If the devil is throwing out lies into the world, then no wonder we are being confronted with misinformation!
The news media and social media, contain a mixture of truth and lies. How can we determine the truth from the lies? Bring everything to Jesus! Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). If you have Jesus in your life, then you have the truth! This truth is an unshakable bedrock that never changes. Hebrews 13:8 states that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Even though the information you hear on a daily basis might be changing, the truth of Jesus remains firm forever. Not only is Jesus the truth, but he knows all truth because he is God and he sees everything! With Jesus by our side, we should be able to stand in the full armor of God and “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).
As we make our way across the battlefield of information, we need to be cautious about what we believe, yet remain open-minded. Critical thinking is so important and searching out multiple different sources to validate facts is a good idea. While we should not blindly believe everything we see or hear, neither should we be quick to label something a “conspiracy theory” just because it seems outlandish. My husband and I first heard about Epstein’s “Lolita Express” from a Fox News article in May of 2016. It got buried on Google very quickly and became difficult for us to find on the search engine after we had initially found it. We were bewildered and wondered if it could possibly be true, knowing that most would consider it an outrageous “conspiracy theory.” As the years went on, more and more evidence came to light, but still the mainstream media would not report it. It wasn’t until Epstein’s surprise arrest a year ago in August of 2019, that the mainstream media finally reported the truth. What was once considered an unthinkable conspiracy, is now laying out in plain sight for all to see. Truth is often stranger than fiction.
With so much false information being lobbed our way, it’s also easy to fall prey to deception. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has forwarded a news story that looked and sounded legitimate, only to later question the sources and find it to be false or inconclusive. If you are unsure about the accuracy of the information you are hearing or sharing, it is OK to be humble and admit, “I don’t know.” It’s time to stop behaving as if we have all the answers… we don’t, but God does! Let’s go to him, the true source. The Apostle Paul affirms that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3). Paul exalts Jesus as the source of all truth “so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments” (Colossians 2:4).
While arrows of deception are flying wildly at us from all directions, we can look to Jesus’ Word (the Bible), which is the flawless truth of God. Now is the time to diligently read the scriptures and fill ourselves with this truth daily. As we feed on the Word of God, we will grow in wisdom and discernment, which will help us accurately test and filter the information we encounter. Reading the Bible and seeing through the lens of the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. The Holy Spirit will help us navigate through this war and protect us from easily falling into deception.
If you are battle weary and exhausted, it may be necessary to take a break from the news and social media. Turn your TV off and log out of your social media accounts. Call out to Jesus, who invites us by saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Let his rest and peace fill you, while taking away your heaviness and anxiety. If you wait on Jesus, he will reveal to you the truth you need to know about. We do not have the capacity to know everything. God knows this. He only tells us what is good for us to know, when we need to know it. He is a good shepherd. We can trust him. Everything God shows us will be for the purpose of building a loving relationship with Jesus. He wants us to know him and his perfect love. Let’s pray for his plans to be accomplished. His plans are loving, full of peace and completely good. He will heal your wounded soul and can mend your broken relationships. When you have regained your strength and resolve, then jump back into the battle!
If you’re currently in the fight and God is calling you to boldly speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), then keep going! Speak louder! Use the sword of the Spirit! Do not back down! Keep pressing forward! We know Jesus is the truth, and in the end no matter what happens, the TRUTH wins!
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