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.