14 Jan Whatever is True
Recently, Denzel Washington made headlines for a statement he made to the media about the media. Having been a topic of a fake news story he noted that if one “does not read the news they are uninformed, but if they read the news they are misinformed.” Denzel explained to them that the impact of too much information is the “need to be first, not even to be true anymore.” He went on to tell the reporters “so what a responsibility you all have – to tell the truth.”
This post is all about thinking about “whatever is true (Phil 4:8),” so I share this story about Denzel not just because I am a Denzel fan, but rather because I think that within his comments to the media are lessons that we can extrapolate for ourselves as it relates to the topic of truth.
1. We need to read the news… the Good News – We cannot know what is true in God’s eyes if we do not read the Word for ourselves. We can listen to countless sermons, podcasts, and lectures on Scripture, but until we meditate on Scripture for ourselves, we are uninformed. If you want to think on whatever God considers to be true, you have to pick up the Bible and find out for yourself.
2. We need to pray for wisdom to discern truth – In this day of 24 hour news and social media, we are bombarded with stories and commentary on literally everything. Believe it or not, everything is not true. We need to learn to carefully filter the information we are receiving and to discern what is real based on the facts and the source. We must acknowledge that we all have a certain level of bias that is integrated into the stories we tell and the stories we hear. We must be skillful in separating fact from fiction, otherwise, we can become misinformed.
3. We need to tell the truth – There is a saying “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Well, let’s change it up…If you can’t say anything true, don’t say anything at all. The nature of gossip is such that you are spreading a story that may or may not be true. At best, it is probably only a partial truth. In our quest to be the first to share a story, we oftentimes are not telling the full story. Also, it is important that we remember to speak truth to ourselves. The most critical voice we hear about ourselves may be our own and most of what we tell ourselves is not true. We owe it to ourselves and others to tell the truth.
We are all consumers of false information, whether it be fake news stories or untrue gossip; however, we may also, intentionally or unintentionally, be the conveyors of false information. We spend countless hours of the day thinking about things that simply are not true. What a responsibility WE have – to tell (and think about) the truth.
Reflection: Are you thinking about things that are true? Have you been telling “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” to yourself and others?