Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #42

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“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
Proverbs 18:2 (ESV)

There is no lack of opinion being expressed in these days of pandemic. Conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen. We are called to make decisions about all sorts of things, most of which we never dreamt we would be facing, and for which we feel so ill equipped. They are decisions that don’t just affect us, but our children and grandparents, parents and grandparents.

For us, this all seems new and overwhelming. For our generation, this is true. But as the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). While the disease may be new, human nature is not. Neither are conspiracy theories. Some 2,800 years ago, the prophet said this in Isaiah 8:12: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.”

Christians are called to “be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.” What we share on social media matters. We bring honour or shame to the Lord with everything we post. There was no Twitter or Tik Tok in King Solomon’s day but human nature hasn’t changed since sin entered into the heart of Adam and Eve. In his day, Solomon noticed this: “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Proverbs 18:2)

I’ve recently been reading a novel set in the 11th century. A powerful but evil character in the book tries to destroy a good and honourable monk by telling others that sinful activities were taking place in the monastery. There was no truth to it – he made up the whole thing – but word spread like wildfire and the good monk’s reputation was ruined. No wonder the ninth commandment says, “you shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” (Exodus 20:16)

Truth matters to the Lord. That’s why His followers are called to always tell the truth. In this day of pandemic, when it is so difficult to discern what is true and what is fabricated, we are called to be truthful in all things. What we share publicly matters.

I saw a post on Facebook a while ago that was funny, and true. It said, “My facebook post has changed someone’s mind, said no one, ever.” King Solomon understood the importance of understanding truth before sharing it. One thing we can be sure of – God’s Word is truth. Jesus IS the truth. Social media gives us an opportunity to share the truth that can truly transform people’s lives. That ought to be the priority for the people of God.

I don’t want to be thought a fool, to use Solomon’s definition in Proverbs 18:2. As a follower of Jesus, I take pleasure in doing research from trustworthy sources to make decisions during this pandemic so that I can understand and make wise choices. I would much rather remain silent and be thought a fool than to open my mouth and remove all doubt.

I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.