Although we are in no way experts, my sons and I have become the resident fact-checkers in our church and school for all things Australian. We’ve been in the States for nearly six years, but we lived in Australia for sixteen years before moving to the Missouri Ozarks. Since we have firsthand knowledge of Australia, people often come to us with questions.
Usually it’s regarding something they’ve seen on social media. Since we all know how accurate the Internet is, I can’t say I blame them for questioning what they see and read. Last week a friend asked me about a picture he’d seen of spider webs covering a field in Australia. Yep, that one was real. (But I won’t delve too far into the subject of spiders, lest I lose you!) 🙂
Another friend watched a cooking channel where the host used Vegemite, and wanted to know about the thick, black paste. Did we really eat that stuff????
Yep, we did, and we still do. In fact, we’re planning to take a toaster and Vegemite to a school sports event and give out samples of Vegemite toast to all who dare. 🙂
Why do people ask us about Australia? Why don’t they just Google the facts? A simple search would most likely produce hundreds of websites discussing their question.
Because they know it’s better to ask someone who’s been there—someone who has seen the truth with their own eyes.
My friend, do you want the complete, total, and unaltered truth about this world?
Then go to the Source.
Do you want to know how the the earth came into being? Ask the Creator. Do you want to know why mankind acts the way they do? Go to the One Who can see into their hearts. Read for yourself His Word, clearly outlining the creation, fall, and self-destructive tendencies of man. Do you want to know how He made a way for all men to be saved? It’s all written clearly in God’s Word.
That’s great, Kim, you may be thinking. I trust what God has said in the Bible. I know that to be true. But what about the deception that permeates the world today? How do we know who to believe?
That’s a great question.
I think it’s safe to say most of us are exhausted by the constant misinformation assaulting us in the world today. What should we believe? Who is speaking the truth? How do we know what they are saying is true?
Again, we must go to the Source of all truth. No, we don’t have a list in the Bible telling us which politicians are lying to us or which friends will deceive us, but God does give us principles to follow in our search for truth.
Let’s take a quick look at two of these principles which will help us decipher if a person is speaking to us truthfully—whether that person is on the nightly news or in the house next door.
First, look at their track record.
What do I mean by this? Simply put, does this person have a history of truth or deception? I don’t just mean blatant lying. Do they have a tendency to stretch the truth, or tell “white” lies? Do they constantly exaggerate? When you hear the same story from another source, are the facts different?
Proverbs 12:19 tells us, “The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” In other words, the truth holds up. In looking at this person, can you see that their words have “held up” over time? Or are they often proven wrong?
Second, look at their fruits.
We read in Matthew 7:15-17, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”
A person can talk all they want, but the fruit of their life will either prove or disprove the words of their lips. It’s impossible to cover a lie forever; eventually the truth comes out. At times, we must wait for the truth. After all, a tree doesn’t bear its fruit instantly. But in time, fruit appears and we learn the truth.
As we wrap up this post, I’d like to share a couple things in regards to social media. There are two verses we would do well to follow before believing and/or commenting on the things we read online.
“The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” (Proverbs 14:15) My friend, be very careful before believing a claim on social media. It’s easy to twist words, edit photographs and videos, and make something look true when it is not. Remember, it’s okay to wait awhile before believing something you see. The longer we wait, the more facts emerge, and the more we will know what to believe.
“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” (Proverbs 18:13) I’m not certain, but I think God may have had Facebook in mind when He wrote this verse! How many times have we typed out a scathing comment, only to find out later the “facts” were entirely different? Again, it’s okay to wait. The world will not cease to rotate if we fail to share our opinion on the matter at that very moment. 🙂
It’s a crazy world out there—no one will deny that. But in the midst of all the deception, we have the truth of God’s Word to stand upon. In the constantly shifting sands of our times, we have a firm foundation in the Lord Jesus and His Word.
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
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