Social media has found an unwelcome guest in the form of fake news. This strange bedfellow forces us to look beneath the bed sheets to validate the integrity of the stories being told—are they truth’s faithful companion or are they legends and lies?
These media hacks, have honed their presentation skills, and they offer tantalizing tidbits that activate the prey mentality and create a viral feeding frenzy. The skeptical will deny the veracity of most everything they read, but the gullible will savage every story, hook, line, and sinker, like a hungry bass.
Skewing the facts and twisting the truth was also problem in the days of Isaiah, who said: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20).
Why are people so easily deceived? Leonardo da Vinci may have been a prophet when said the average person looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking.
We can’t afford to be intellectual coach potatoes and allow others to do our thinking for us. John Ortberg has said: What repeatedly enters your mind and occupies your mind, eventually shapes your mind, and will ultimately express itself in what you do and who you become.
Ortberg’s words are based on the advice of the apostle Paul who instructed people to manage the mental messages that bounce around inside the head. If we fail to capture and control these thoughts, the mind easily becomes an echo chamber of negativity.
I’ll close with a quote that has been attributed to Frank Outlaw: Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.