We would be hard pressed to admit it, but if we were completely honest with ourselves and with others, we are probably wrong about many things most of the time.
How often do you think you are wrong about things? 90% of the time? 50%? 35%?
It’s really hard to say, especially when we are talking about ourselves (we already know that everyone else is wrong, and we spend way too much time on FB and Twitter telling them that they are).
You see, we know we are wrong about some things sometime, only we have a hard time admitting to it. Part of that is because we just don’t know which things and to what degree. Think about it, would you seriously continue to hold a belief that you knew you were wrong about?
Train yourself to be more skeptical and to ask questions of yourself and of others, questions of anything you see, read, or hear, whether it be in person or online. In Acts chapter 17 and verses 10-11, Paul and Silas encountered just such a group of skeptical people, the Bereans.
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. – Acts 17:10-11
Before hitting that share button on Facebook or before re-tweeting, take a minute to search out the matter. Do a little investigating into the source. Where did the information come from? If statistics are presented, who paid for the study, and do they have anything to profit from producing a less than honest picture? I have found personally, the posts that I feel the strongest about sharing, after doing a little digging turn out to be, at best, over-exaggerated or, at worst, blatant false claims. Emotion plays a big part in our desire to share things, but emotions also have the power to cloud our ability to judge things rightly.
As Jesus says in the fourth Gospel, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:24
One of the best ways to do that is to have friends and acquaintances that have opposing views and beliefs. It would be helpful to avoid creating echo chambers and friendships with only those that agree with and think like yourself. Don’t unfriend everyone on Facebook that doesn’t agree with you and don’t block everyone on Twitter that says you may be wrong. Don’t limit the news you take in to only one source.
Make fact checking a habit. We don’t need to promote “Fake News” in order to proclaim the Good News.
If we, the Church, are to join God’s mission in His redemptive efforts to save the world, shouldn’t sharing the most accurate and honest information we can be a part of that?