Misinformation is a Problem
When my kids were young and not yet smart, I told them about ‘lie bumps’. These were bumps that showed up on their tongue whenever you were telling a lie. So, when I asked if they brushed their teeth before bed and they said “no,” I would ask to see their tongue.
Do not forget that kids are easy to manipulate, so when they knew they were lying they would instinctively draw their tongues into their mouths, so I could not see these imaginary lie bumps. I have wrote about this before. Parenting is so much easier if you are comfortable with lies and bribery. For the record, lie bumps only apply to gullible children.
Distinguishing Truth from Misinformation
I still remember those days when my kids would try to get over on me by feeding me the information they thought I wanted to hear so they could get their way. Sadly, I see that happening a lot today, especially with social media. What are we to do as Christians? This information is pertinent to our daily lives. We have politics, racism, Covid-19, vaccines, education, abortion, immigration, and a laundry list of other hot-button topics that we need to discuss. How can we know what we are saying is right?
One news organization says that another news organization is run by idiots or sheep or whatever you want to call them. I have seen friends who earned C’s in science suddenly become medical experts. The copy and paste function on Twitter and Facebook have been working in overdrive. Hey, this guy here is talking about what I want to hear or what I already believe so I am going to share his article or video without doing any research.
The amount of misinformation is staggering. Interestingly enough, the Bible talks about this. Many verses talk about this. 2 Timothy 2:23 says,
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.”
There are so many more Exodus 23:1, James 4:1-2, Proverbs 14:15. God is not the author of confusion, Satan is. We Christians are supposed to be the leaders in saying what is right. Do we want to be right or do we want to win the argument?
Truth Mixed with Misinformation
A common tactic used in misinformation is the idea of telling truths than at the end putting a lie as the cherry on top. For example, An ant is strong for its size. An ant can lift ten times its body weight. I can also lift ten times an ant’s body weight. Therefore, I am strong. This is how a lot of information is presented. With three true statements, then tied together with a lie that sounds very believable. Satan will try to destroy you with this tactic.
Satan knows that if your weakness is self-control, he won’t jump right out and say, take your paycheck and put it all on red at the casino. He will have you start in the office pool for squares for the Superbowl. Friendly wagers with hour neighbors. It’s only $20, you spend more on that at the movies, everyone is having fun (3 truths before he hits you with the lie), it’s no big deal.
Read: Hated for the Truth
As human beings, we are flawed, and we fall for all kinds of things. Where we can combat lies is to pray and to constantly ask God for wisdom. Educate yourself. Surround yourself with friends with many differing views. It’s not a good idea to only be friends or acquaintances with someone who looks like you and only shares your view.
Read more books, stay off of social media. Go back to the manual (the bible) whenever you have questions. Utilize the resources you have available. Ignorant has such a bad connotation. The truth is everyone is uninformed about something. Being ignorant isn’t necessarily bad. Staying ignorant is the problem.
Last and not least, do not be the source of misinformation when you know what you are saying is wrong, but you are just too stubborn to admit it. Pride goes before the fall. We need to normalize saying, “I messed up, I need to fix this”, or “I don’t know enough about that topic to give an informed answer, I will get back to you.”
Let us be better as a whole. We need to take charge. I am not on any particular side because all sides have the wrong information. I am on the side of God. Not politics, not race, not gender, and no denominations. Forget all that. Just be real with what God wants, and I think we will be ok.
Prescott Williamson is a Bible-believing Christian. He is a husband, a father, and someone who believes that there is a little humor to be found in whatever situation God sends your way. He was born in the small islands of the Bahamas but now lives in the Suburbs of Fort Worth Texas, which is basically the same thing. He enjoys TV, reading, blogging and serving in his church (especially on the days they serve donuts). You can see what I have been thinking about lately on my blog www.prescottascoolbreeze.com.