weekly word – 9/02/21

Consider the source. Compare it to THE SOURCE

Where do you go to get information on current events? What about self-help or health issues?  How quick are you to accept what you read or hear as the truth? It seems like we have so much information at our fingertips…on just about any topic, and along with the good, comes a lot of garbage. 

I remember a time when I could watch the news and get reports on current events that presented the facts on the matter. Now, it seems more and more difficult to get that. Everyone seems to have biases on events and if the event doesn’t seem interesting enough on its own, then some type of drama gets added to it. During the last volcano eruption that took place on the island of Hawaii, I received a lot of emails and messages from people who were concerned about my extended family who lives in Hawaii. If you followed the news reports, it seemed like the island was in total chaos and people were running out of land mass with the possibility of having to be forced off the island. The reality was that the eruption affected about 13.5 square miles of an island that is over 4,000 square miles, which equates to about .3 percent of the island. With this type of reporting, compounded with all of the “experts” on social media, we can easily get caught up in so many things that could cause anxieties. 

If I were to ask you what state our country is currently in, how many of you would think that we are in a tailspin and things are completely out of control? If you just follow the media, we have a military that is being misdirected, an economy that will soon be crashing, police forces that have their hands tied, criminal activity that is out of control, education programs that are failing, and the list goes on. While there is some truth to some of these, I think it’s important to consider the source, do your own investigating and keep things in the right perspective. As you take a look around, what percentage of people in your neighborhoods, your workplaces, and just out in the open public have the same values as you, still respect the police, have decent morals, and agree with your standards of living? I would say that the huge majority would fit in this category. But, if you listen to social media, everything is out of control. There is a very small minority that are misleading people or causing a lot of turmoil in our culture, and they are the ones getting all the attention and what our media focuses on and what gets reported to us. 

What we really need to focus on is the truth. Where do we find truth in a culture that seems to be so twisted? Start with Scripture. Focus on things that really matter and cling to the fact that God is always in control, there is no one or nothing that can overpower Him, and He promises to love us and care for us (better than any government or person can). Dwell on these truths, as the apostle Paul instructs in Phillipians 4:8, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. These are the same things that we should be demonstrating in our lives for others to see. Whether or not we agree with how we are being led by our governmental authorities, we still have an obligation to do what is right before God; not only when we think people are watching. If you notice, Paul preceded this verse with 6 and 7 which most of us are very familiar with. It says, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Do we desire peace and comfort in a world that seems to be crashing around us? Spend less time reading what is being put out in social media, don’t accept anything as truth before doing some research, don’t be one who responds or forwards information that has not been checked, and most importantly, seek God, be drawn to Him and He will be the One who will guard our hearts and our minds. 

Pastor Bryan