By Melissa McLaughlin
In a world of lies and questionable news, it’s hard to know what to believe.
Like any other child, when I was young, I peppered my parents with all kinds of questions. I never wondered if they were telling me the truth. If they knew the answer, they told me, and it was true. If they didn’t know the answer, they told me that, as well. My knowledge was built on truth and trust. Steadfast truth and abiding trust.
How do we know what to believe in today’s world when the news media and social media outlets decide for us what information will or will not be shared? In some cases we discover at a later time, that the information publicized was not true after all. Some stories are covered widely, while others are removed and wiped clean of every trace. That alone should make us pause and think. Think for ourselves.
One thing we know for certain… bad news sells.
How do we know what to believe when it’s the bad news that bolsters sales revenues? If we seek our soul nourishment from the news media or from social media, we will be fed a steady diet of whatever sells and that is most certainly bad news.
Instead, let’s go to the source of Truth, for He is Truth. Jesus.
John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus said this of the devil…
The devil is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44-45 – You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. 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. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
The devil is the prince of this world.
John 14:30-31 – I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
Of this we can be sure, the prince of this world, the devil, will NOT be telling us the truth.
So how can we find the truth we need to navigate the times in which we live?
Here are 3 ways to find truth in a world of lies.
1. Limit your intake of media.
This includes both news media and social media. Whether the newspaper, the TV, smartphone or computer, before you begin reading/listening to any form of media, ask God if this is His will for you. Keep track of the time you are spending each day consuming media. Ask God to help you set limits for how much time you devote to this.
2. Increase your intake of God’s Word.
For every 5 minutes spent reading or listening to the news or scrolling through social media posts, make it your goal to spend 30 minutes reading God’s Word, the Bible. God’s Word cleanses us, refreshes us, instructs us, challenges us and encourages us. Unlike the news of the day, God’s Word will last forever. When we read the Bible, we read eternal and unchanging truth that will anchor our hearts, minds and souls like no news broadcast ever could.
Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
3. Pray for a revelation of the truth.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you. God sees all and God knows all. Even when we can’t tell if the news we hear is true, God knows everything. Ask God to help you discover and discern the truth. Not the claim of a famous celebrity, not the latest trend in the news, social media or google searches, nor the announcement of a given political platform. But God’s truth. The truth.
James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Why does the truth matter? Because without truth we are slogging through quicksand, sinking, flailing, groping for help but never really finding it. Our hearts long for truth. Only God can supply the truth for which we hunger. Without truth, we will be fed a banquet of lies, deception and fear.
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
I pray that these 3 ways to find truth in a world of lies, will help you reframe your thinking in this uncertain time. With God’s help we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. What a gift to treasure and pursue!
Seek truth. Consume truth. Absorb truth. And the truth will set you free!
John 8:31-32 – Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
John 16:13 – But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
1 Corinthians 2:10b-16 – The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
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This subject has really been on my heart lately, too. All this talk of “fake news”, lies from politicians, and media bias, makes me wonder where to find the truth. Yet, the truth is found in Jesus Christ, as you mentioned. Excellent article!
Thank you for your comments and encouragement, Lisa! It means so much to me. We really must seek the Lord Jesus like never before. God’s Word is truth and has applications to every day, including this moment in time. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of truth and He will teach us if we seek His leading for our lives. God’s truth will stand forever. He is a Rock in more ways than one!
Amen. Take in His Word. There is comfort found in His Word.
God’s Word is nourishment for our souls like nothing else. As Jesus said, “Man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” It is our comfort, strength and hope. Bless you!
This is great, Melissa! Thirty minutes of Bible study for every 5 minutes of social media or news from a news outlet. That sounds about right for expunging the lies from our hearts and minds. You spelled this out so clearly and thoughtfully. Love this!
Thank you, Melinda! Glory to God, our source of all Truth! We really need to do a regular soul check to see what we are feeding our inner selves. Only God’s Word gives us real life and real truth. Blessings to you and yours!
Amen Missy. If we desire God we will be in His Word. Gods Word never returns void.
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.”
— Psalms 12:6
So true, Pat! God’s Word is powerful and will pierce through even the deception of our own selves. May we seek to know God and live for Him by saturating ourselves in His Word. Bless you! Powerful verse!
Here’s another similar passage I love.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
God bless you!
I agree that we should be taking in more of His Word and way less of the media’s word. He’s full of the truth!
That’s so it, Michelle! God is full of truth! If we are filled with His Word, then the words of this world cannot pull us under so easily.
Melissa, thanks for telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 🙂 All your points are spot on and love how we are to limit our intake of the news and increase our intake of God’s Word. And it took me years in my Christian walk to realize since one of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to reveal truth, to pray and ask Him for it. Not only when reading the Word, but also for discernment between true and false.
Bless you, Karen! How we need God’s Word, the Bible, to re-anchor our souls, now more than ever. For only God’s Word is eternal truth. I have always prayed for the leading of the Holy Spirit but am learning to pray more and more for discernment of what is true and false in our world. We sometimes forget, the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of truth.
I love this scripture:
John 16:13 – But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
“He will guide you into all the truth.” What a gift! May the Holy Spirit lead us into ALL THE TRUTH! At such a time as this.
Thanks again, Sister Melissa, for another beautiful piece. The value of God’s Word cannot be overemphasized. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…” The word “LET” puts responsibility on the the individual. While God’s Word sieves out deception, as you’ve very ably explained, it works only by application. The Word in the Bible cannot do anything for anyone. It’s what we’ve put in our hearts, and what we keep saying with our mouths that carries the day.
Certainly, media has its benefits. By it, we are know what’s going on around the world, and that enables us to pray in understanding. But the Christian must eschew partisan propaganda no matter who such seems to favor or attack. Let the Word of Christ be the operating software of our minds..
David, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughtful remarks. As Jesus Himself said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. God’s Word nourishes and transforms the deepest parts of our being. We could eat the most expensive delicacies and yet shrivel and die inwardly without the Bible filling our souls. May we consume God’s Word and filter all of our lives through its truth. I love your analogy “the operating software of our minds.” May it be so, Lord Jesus!
This was such a great reminder, Melissa! There are so many times when I know I’m believing a lie, but the truth, for some reason, seems harder to believe. That’s when I pray “Whatever is true … think about these things.” And I ask for the Holy Spirit to bombard me with His truth and fight away those lies!
Such a good point, Emily! We need to be in sync with the indwelling Holy Spirit and invite His illumination, correction, redirection and encouragement. May God’s Word and His Spirit bring out more of His Son in us, despite any cloud of evil swirling around us!
Amen. Our Lord Jesus told us that He is the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. But we run after all these other things in the world,so easily. Just this weekend, He prompted me to pull back from some of my social media connections. The pressure that lifted off was such a gift! I pray that I will continue to listen, before the pressures become too great the next time! Blessings to you, and thank you for sharing the Lord’s truth here with us.
Thank you for sharing your personal experience, Bettie. I remember one friend used to post frequent articles about how social media is literally addictive. And I believe that wholeheartedly. We do need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit’s prompting, especially regarding news media and social media. We can flow with the current so easily and lose our connection to Christ. Jesus, let our eyes be drawn back to you over and over again! Blessings and love to you, dear sister!
Thank you so much for these great words of encouragement. This offers us great advice in our society today. It makes me sad that there is so much deceit in world but your suggestions will really help me sift through to God’s truth.
I am deeply saddened by the deceit that is running rampant in our world, too. But we know from a Biblical standpoint that as we approach the end of the age, things will become more difficult, as Jesus told us in Matthew 24. May we cling to Christ and His Word, staying in tune to the Holy Spirit for every word we read and every thought we consider. May God’s truth be our anchor!
You are right, Melissa. There are so many lies and cover-ups out there related to COVID and many other topics, along with some truth. Frankly, I don’t pay attention to most of it. It is God’s truth that matters most and we respond to any information, factual or not, in ways that honor Him: with joy and peace, with discernment, with grace and love, etc. Thank you for pointing us to much needed Scripture.
I agree with you, Stephen. I do try to avoid news media as much as possible because the half-truths and cover-ups are disheartening and soul-wearying. Of course, we need enough news in order to operate in our personal environment. Fortunately, the good news is still available, that Jesus is Savior and LORD! May that be our source of hope, strength and TRUTH!
Great contribution it’s an eye opening now a days. Necessary and applicable. I pray God helps you to continue this thank you once again.
Thank you for reading and sharing your responses Srikanth. Thank you for your prayers, I need people praying for God to infuse and direct my writing. May it be His work, through my keyboard. I agree with you, we really need to seek the Holy Spirit for discerning truth at this time. May God bless you and help you seek Him all the more!