As I catch the messages in billboards, posters on store windows, and flyers taped and stapled, I find myself buried in truths, half truths, and outright lies. It is hard to know where truth ends and fiction begins. Hard data is twisted so that the casual reader is directed to a mythical conclusion. The misdirection is playing out in all kinds of forums; newspapers, websites, and television are filled with myths, works of imagination, and false premises. The traditional warning signs and indicators are often missing. Diligence is not a guaranteed defense. Street smarts are not enough. One's senses do not always give a warning.
As I gray, I find myself holding onto a few key principles. First, be aware that partial truths abound, even with the innocents. One may not intent to convey something that is misleading, yet the outcome is still the same. Evil works through the willing as well as the ignorant.
Second, listening and interact with a questing mind. When there is a warning flag, ask. This does not imply that being cynical of everything is the answer. It does mean that one should question the authenticity of the message when someone says, “we even heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth would tear this place down and throw out all the customs Moses gave us.” (Acts 6.14)
Third, do not give up your principles and values based on the word of another. Give truth time to convict, then act. Verify, test, and confirm before adopting something that touches your heart and soul.
Life is precious. Simply and whimsically drifting from one myth to another is not living. We must exercise our freedom in intentional ways if we are to live fully and completely. Discovering, nurturing, and protecting truth is at the heart of this process. We are recipients and stewards of God's truth in our lives. We have the opportunity to model what this means. With the dawn, I find myself longing to know and experience truth. As I search, I find God planting it in my life and yours.
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