Sorry honey, they are all gone. I guess we will just have to get more…
This last Saturday my lovely wife and I took a trip to Costco for the free samples. While we were there we also did some shopping. My favorite purchase of the day was a 2 lb. box of plump, juicy, mouthwatering blueberries.
Now, I know what you are thinking. What did we need 2 lbs of blueberries for?
We needed them for eating, of course!
So, over the next few days, I did just that. Eat blueberries.
I ate blueberries so much so that earlier today, I actually found myself typing the words, “how many blueberries is too many blueberries?” into the Google machine.
I was happy to read the very first sentence my search produced. “When it comes to fruits, you can’t go wrong with blueberries.”
The article went on to talk about serving sizes and whatnot, but at that point, I didn’t care anymore. I got the answer I was hoping for and that was all that mattered to me.
“You can’t go wrong with blueberries.” That phrase was really the only thing I remember reading because it was really the only thing I wanted to see.
And that got me thinking, we as humans tend to be harmfully selective in our fact-checking. Often-times many of us will only focus on what we want to hear and see while ignoring the rest of the facts. The results are an incomplete picture of the truth. And an incomplete truth is a complete fallacy.
In this case, I stopped reading the health article because it’s first sentence justified my actions. I didn’t feel guilty gorging myself because, in my mind, the article told me it was “o.k.”
This seems like a really silly example but the underlining problem, for many of us, can be much more harmful.
Selective and biased fact-checking has led to the rise of “fake news” (from both sides, by the way.) Media outlets run stories that are designed to make us either feel good about ourselves or to be outraged at someone or something else. All this is done in an attempt to allow us to justify our feelings towards those topics or people. Remember, an incomplete truth is a complete fallacy.
Or to put it simpler, a half-truth is a total lie.
Incomplete facts often lead to wrong actions for wrong motives. That’s why the Bible, in 1 Thessalonians 5, tells us to “test everything” and to “hold fast to what is good.” The instruction is there because we humans have a tendency to so easily be led astray by “nice” sounding half/incomplete truths. That’s why we need to always be doing full and unbiased fact-checks in our lives.
So, here is a list of things/people that you should always be fully fact-checking:
- Your Facebook feed. (Do I really need to explain this one…)
- Your favorite pundits. (Don’t get tunnel vision.)
- Your friends. (Even people who love us can accidentally lead us astray.)
- Your family. (Even people who love us can accidentally lead us astray.)
- Your Pastors. (Even people who love us can accidentally lead us astray.)
- Your own heart. (Jer. 17:9- The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.)
My final thought as I finish this final handful of blueberries would be the most important one: we need to be fact-checking against the backdrop of the Bible. The Word of God is everything we need for life and godliness, (2 Peter 1:3) and God has given it to us for our benefit.
If it doesn’t line up with the truth of the Bible, then it is an incomplete truth…and we all know what those are.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”