Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A Thought for Tuesday 2 December 2014

“An evildoer gives heed to false lips; a liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.”  Proverb 17:4 NKJV

Scrolling through Facebook last night I came across a photo of three men who were protesting in Ferguson MO.  Each of these men was holding a sign, one of which displayed so outrageous a statement that it is difficult to believe it had not been photoshopped; doctored up to suit someone’s propaganda purposes.  When I came across this display which had already been forwarded by someone else, I questioned whether or not it could possibly be real.  The response was, “I don’t know if it’s real or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me.”

And therein lies the problem.  This one “share” had not been the only one I came across of this same image.  The display had not been authenticated, but it continues being passed around as though it were fact.  As if the people of Ferguson MO do not have enough problems to deal with, the people of the country who are in no way connected to this town seem eager to keep the pot stirred – while accusing the media of keeping the pot stirred!  

Why is it we are so eager to believe the worst rather than to seek out and hope for the best?  It is hard to believe those who shared this photo are “evildoers” (I personally know at least one of those who shared, and others claim to be Christian), yet the wisdom of the Proverbs challenges everything we see and what we choose to do with it.  More than this, we are indicted by the Scriptures when we pass along negative information about anyone, true or not, and more so when we pass along something we do not have first-hand knowledge about.  “You shall not bear false witness.”  If we lack first-hand knowledge, we lack knowledge – period.

Even our own opinions (to which we are entitled, of course) can “lead us into temptation” if we do not guard ourselves against evil intent or fail to go to the trouble of making sure our “opinion” is not being confused with “fact”. 

Our eagerness to pass along such dribble suggests the Gospel of The Lord is not in us, for this is what we should be spending our time helping to spread.  It is the greatest News of all time!  Yet we are more eager to share something negative about someone else – something we do not know for sure against someone we don’t know at all!  Could it really be true that we have a need to destroy others in order to feel good about ourselves?  Is the Gospel really so shallow and meaningless to those who claim allegiance to Christ?

We can do better, and we must.  What we may have “heard” second- or third-hand is likely not what truly is, so let it die the painful death it deserves, and do not be afraid to challenge those who so eagerly “share”.  Let us be the “doers” of mercy and justice rather than the “doers” of evil deeds; for what we “do” is actually who we really are.

“You must choose this day whom you will serve.”  I recommend we choose wisely.



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