These days, everything seems to have become political. Whatever we hear is slanted according to the agenda of those speaking. How is anyone to know what is true, anymore?
It is critically important when deciding what to believe that we consider the source of the information and the potential bias of that source.
We can choose to believe that whatever we agree with is truth, while something that goes against our own ideas is propaganda, or we can look beyond our own preconceptions and consider the track record of the source of the information.
In the Gospel of Matthew we are told that we may know the character of a person by the fruits of their life.
15-20 “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.Matthew 7:15-20 (MSG)
Has the source of a particular piece of information been trustworthy in the past? Or have they shown themselves to be trying to manipulate data for their own benefit? In the translation above, we can insert any type of information source for the “preachers” in the text. A more traditional translation refers to prophets, those claiming to bring God’s message:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV)
Whether weighing the words of preachers, prophets, or politicians, the same principal holds. It may be more work to do the necessary research to find out the speaker’s track record for impartial truth, but if we are to be wise it may be necessary.
A wise man will hear and increase learning,Proverbs 1:5 (NKJV)
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel