Read Proverbs 12:22
22 The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in those who tell the truth. (NLT)
That phrase ‘fake news’ has been awarded a prize for being the most notable new word of the previous year. It reminds us that truth is not as simple or easy as we might imagine. As our text reminds us, we need to be truthful and not lie. This reflects the character of our God. And most of us would not wilfully lie; most of us want to be people of integrity.
Yet in our age of information overload, too many followers of Jesus are guilty of spreading ‘fake news’. We naively assume that just because a fellow Christian has conveyed information to us that it must be true. But where did that fellow Christian get their information from? And, sadly, we have to admit that not all Christian communication in the public market place is reliable. We all have our prejudices, our blind spots.
We want to be known as people of integrity. We do our faith great disservice when through either naivety or paranoia or prejudice we pass on to others that which is not true. Check things out (the internet which can deceive us can also help us with its hoax-checking sites). Don’t share things without knowing with some degree of certainty that they are truthful.
In a world saturated with ‘alternative facts’ political spin and fake news, those who follow Jesus are called to a higher standard. Being party to fake news compromises our ability to share the really good news.