You’re Being Lied To

I have a fancy watch.

It tells me all sorts of things, including the weather.  Last Tuesday, it informed me it was a whopping 81 degrees outside!

So I dressed appropriately in one of my summeriest beach-shirts and headed to the church for a meeting.

I turned a lot of heads, because it was only 65 degrees outside.

My watch was lying to me!

I think I’ve got that fixed now, but I don’t know what to do about the rest of the world.

I get this feeling that LOTS of people are lying to me.

Advertisers?  Big time.  I’ll almost never trust something they tell me on a commercial.

Politicians?  Well…yeah.  I’m afraid so.  When you couple these experts at doublespeak with the slipperiness of today’s media, half the time it all sounds like one big lie.

That calls into question lots of things like Facebook Posts and Tweets and all kinds of social media.

And then, I can’t help but think it, but there may be people I know.  Friends, acquaintances, even family who could be lying to me!

I like to think I can trust most people.  A lot of lies are white lies, or lies of omission, or to prevent embarrassment. But it’s true that sometimes we trust someone and we get burned.  We can even lie to ourselves.

For a society built largely on a set of commandments including “don’t bear false witness”, there sure is a lot of false witnessing going on!

If you can’t fully trust your technology, or big business, or government, or media, or even the occasional friend, or even yourself, who does that leave that you can trust?

(Here is where, if this were a children’s sermon, all the kids would say, right on cue:  “Jesus”.)

And that’s a good answer, of course, but let me offer two thoughts first.

If you’re worried that you’re being lied to, here are 2 ways I suggest responding:

  1. Think Critically.  Use your brain.  Gather data.  Sort through a wide range of possibilities.  See where reason takes you.  Once I stepped outside, it didn’t take me long to figure out that my watch was lying to me.  Sometimes the lies are harder to uncover than others, but God gave us minds to help us seek truth.
  2. Employ Faith.  Faith isn’t meant to be a passive feeling, it’s meant to be an active, useful tool for your whole life.  Faith is what makes trust possible even in difficult circumstances.  Blind faith will let you down a scary road (see #1 to avoid that).  Instead, an informed faith will make it so that you can make wise choices and invest your trust where it is warranted, without becoming paranoid or jaded.

I’ll admit there are days when I’ll spin around and wonder if there’s anyone not corrupted by lies.  Anyone?

The answer, of course, is (Okay now, kids, say it loud…) Jesus.  Here’s what he said:

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  -John 8:31b-32

Holding to Jesus’ teaching involves thinking (#1) and believing (#2).  Instead of dwelling on all the lying, we can place our supreme trust in The Truth Jesus offers, and go from there.

It’s a spiritual attitude adjustment that can change our lives and help transform others.

The Bad News?  You’re being lied to.  (It isn’t close to 81 degrees out there.)

The Good News?  Well, let’s just say,

It’s better than all the Bad put together.

And that ain’t no lie.

Have a great week,