I am the first to admit, I am not the most empathetic person you will ever meet. My mind hears a problem and immediately wants to find a solution and although this has served me well in my field of work, it does not translate over to relationships in the same way. Shocker, right? Many times, people want to just be heard, and I get that … to an extent.
Today, I find myself asking, is it wise to listen to every voice that wants to be heard?
Is it wise to listen to what everyone has to say?
If someone is constantly venting and I am only a listening ear, does it do anyone any good? In the misinformation era where Fake News makes headlines, does it serve us well to listen to all the voices that shout from the mountain top that they have the TRUTH?
What if what someone is saying or repeating is not truth or worse, an intentional distortion of truth?
Does it serve our hearts and minds to listen and not bring truth to light?
I find myself in a personal dilemma. My news-feed is filled with personal takes on the everything. These days, truth seems so fleeting.
So I am sitting here and praying Lord, what do I do?
- Do I stay off social medial?
- Do I curate my feed so that only like-minded people appear?
- Do I speak truth in response to the lies, false claims, distortions of facts?
- Do I stay silent?
The first two are the quick fix but do they to resolve this heart issue? So I pray and seek the word to ask that age old question “What Would Jesus Do”.
I open my heart and my ears to the Holy Spirit.
I know I do not have a solution to every problem that comes across my news-feed, though my heart wishes that was the case. I know to respond with only truths in the face of a hurting heart is not the way.
So, I ask, what did Jesus do?
Jesus Testifies to the Truth
There are no false statements in Jesus.
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37)John 18:37
Jesus Shares the Truth TO Point People to Redemption and Freedom
He confronted those that spread falsehoods with truth.
“Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to him. He healed him, so that the man could both speak and see. All the crowds were astounded and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”
Knowing their thoughts, he told them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons drive them out?
For this reason they will be your judges.
If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. How can someone enter a strong man’s house and steal his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not gather with me scatters.
Therefore, I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the one to come.
Either make the tree good and its fruit will be good, or make the tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers!
How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. A good person produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil person produces evil things from his storeroom of evil. I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
These seem like such harsh words. Why did Jesus rebuke these men with such authority and abrasive words?
“Jesus’ words are harsh because there was so much at stake. Those who followed the Pharisees and scribes were being kept from following God. So much of the teaching in Jesus’ day was in direct contradiction of God’s Word (see Matthew 15:6). The religious leaders made a mockery out of following God. They did not truly understand God’s ways, and they led others away from God. Jesus’ desire was that people would come to know God and be reconciled with Him”GOT QUESTIONS BLOG Post
So what do we do when presented with falsehoods? Do we respond? Do we ignore? Do we “unfollow” those that think different from us?
“Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. Avoid irreverent and empty speech, since those who engage in it will produce even more godlessness,2 Timothy 2:15-16, 19-26
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, bearing this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his, and let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness. Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also those of wood and clay; some for honorable use and some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, because you know that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
We must asks ourselves does speaking (or typing) truth lead to repentance? Does speaking (or posting) truth lead someone to draw closer to God? It serves us well to avoid foolish talks, quarrels and non-sense disputes. Instead, we should use our time, energy and resources to pursue God, His righteousness and His peace. We should strive to have a pure heart and a deep passion after Christ.
So I leave you with this, are we conformed or transformed?
My thoughts lead to words. My words lead to action. My actions take me down the path of life or death.
According to Merriam-Webster the following words are defined as:
- Conformed: to be similar or identical; to be obedient or compliant; to act in according with prevailing standards or customs.
- Transformed: to change in composition or structure; to change the outward form or appearance of; to change in character or condition
Do Not Be Conformed
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”Romans 12:2
I pray that you are encouraged today to keep your peace and to seek the face of God and draw closer to Him. We can step away from the FACT-CHECKER role and step into our higher purpose.