January 13, 2023
The truth will set you free. This is part of a verse in the Bible: John 8:32.
Our culture is obsessed with fact-checking. Sometimes, the TV news makes it the lead story of the night, as catching someone in a false statement has now become important.
Several times, I have heard a story of people making false statements, only to later hear that nothing false could be found! But the damage has been done, for at that moment, someone's opinion may have been altered.
We are in a fast-paced society. Breaking news one day is useless the next. So, how can this happen without consequences? Why aren't people held accountable? Let me say that we've been desensitized to expecting the truth. Breaking news is surrounded by uncertain details to control our interests.
I remember when a retraction was announced on TV, or in the newspaper it was written on the last page. Oops, we've mistakenly given some wrong information. So, if all the facts aren't in, we'll get to them later.
We get all twisted on issues and can't find the truth. I wonder if this might be by design!
OK, back to John 8:32. Let's get another look at the whole verse. Jesus is talking to those who believe him and follow his teachings. They are called his disciples. They don't want to deceive or deliver untruthful statements, according to their own core beliefs.
You see, truth matters. It builds a trusting relationship that we can depend on. So, when issues aren't clear, we just want to shout for the truth. Our hope is that it is clear to understand from those who report the news. This might not apply to all our news sources, but it’s an exhausting search to find reliable information.
But there is good news. It's found in the Bible, the standard for truth. Our prayers are for this standard to be used so news can be trusted, and accurate fact-checking has already taken place.
So, if watching the news raises your anxiety, try reading some Psalms or Proverbs from the Bible. They are full of wise, truthful sayings meant to inspire us into correct thoughts. Don't let so called breaking news distract your attention from the tasks at hand.
I pray that we learn to expect truthful reports that inform us. Breaking news and misinformation quickly released without fact-checking is something we have no appetite for.
Praise Jesus for his words!
Brown is a fieldman for Fellowship of Christian Farmers International in Remsen, N.Y.
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