Deceivability–all humans have it. We can be misled, tricked, and duped by other people. Even our own feelings, thoughts, and desires can deceive us. We can be sincerely convinced that we are right when we are wrong.
Outwardly we are surrounded by so much information, distraction, and confusion, that we can easily get lost in the mess. Inwardly our psyche is also loaded down with ideas, emotions, and wants that push and pull and try to compel us in many directions.
We need anchors–sources of truth–that keep us from being tossed about and deceived in life. How can we know the truth that sets us free from the lies that abound both around us and within us?
We need to desire truth and seek it. We need to be radically honest with ourselves and with others–“speaking the truth in love.” Living in a world full of falsehood, we need to be on guard. We need to test everything for truth and if it doesn’t pass the test, we need to refuse to believe it or to proclaim it.
Here are some tests I use:
* Does it align with my conscience?
* Is the person or group proclaiming it humble, reliable, and radically honest?
* Does the person or group proclaiming it have anything to gain by talking me into believing it?
* Does it align with the Bible?
* When I ask God about it does He confirm it or cause me to question it?
* Does the person or group proclaiming it have compassion for the people who disagree with them and/or who want to fact check their claims?
* Can it be backed up by solid evidence or is it merely hearsay?
* If the tests show that another person or group is right, am I humble and willing to admit that I am the one who is wrong?