Ours is an endless information age. From the moment we open our eyes (and likely turn to our phones) to the moment we close them (and likely turn away from our phones), we spend our days constantly bombarded with all kinds of information.
Frivolous information about what famous people are up to.
Heartbreaking information about the things deeply ailing our world.
And everything in between.
I don’t think there’s been a time in history when so many people have had access to so much information. And yet, what benefit can we really give for knowing all the 24,395,395 things we know?
In my undergraduate days as a communication student, there’s a term that was used for it – data smog. To be so bombarded by information that it ceases to be useful and instead becomes detrimental. The very thing that is supposed to illuminate your world instead now clouds your sight and thought.
It’s as ironic as it is tragic.
All this full blown access to endless streams of information hasn’t come with one critical thing – the ability to filter. It is subsumed that everyone is capable of handling whatever is thrown their way by virtue of being of legal age (and in some instances way younger). Yet, handling information goes far beyond comprehension of what we’re consuming. It’s about stewardship – knowing what’s the right thing to do with it.
It’s one thing for the world to rely on what’s at their disposal to inform them. But if as believers, we rely on the world to inform us more than we depend on God to guide us, then we become walking contradictions headed straight for a crisis of identity and power.
If social media tells you more about life than God does, you’re in trouble.
If the news reports tell you more about life than God does, you’re in trouble.
If politicians and leaders tell you more about life than God does, you’re in trouble.
If your circumstances tell you more about life than God does, you’re in trouble.
If the people in your life tell you more about life than God does, you’re in trouble.
If your thoughts and feelings tell you more about life than God does, you’re in trouble.
Truth is the highest form of reality.
– Bishop John Gobanga
Not all information is equal in weight and power. Not just any information will do because merely having information doesn’t automatically make life better. We need the right kind of information. Just as importantly we need wisdom for its application.
That which God gives – truth – supersedes everything else past, present and even future. It doesn’t align to current circumstances because it’s not supposed to report what they are; it’s supposed to transform them into what they’re supposed to be.
Information doesn’t just give power, it consumes it. If we spend our time and energy on the information that hardly matters, then we have little to nothing left for what actually does. How else is it that people have hours upon hours to scroll through social media and will binge watch an entire series season but 10 minutes with God is somehow mission impossible?! It’s not that we don’t have the time, it’s that our time is spent on what we’ve deemed most profitable to us.
We also cannot afford to consume God’s word the way we take in other information; where we catch a glimpse, quickly draw our assumptions and conclusions, and take off running. If we only take just enough time to hear what God has to say, without tarrying to find out what He wants us to do with it, then we’re just as dangerous as someone completely ignorant of His heart and mind if not more so. It’s tantamount to a toddler wielding a weapon they have no understanding of.
Taking what God has said and applying it to your life based on your preferences won’t get you far. If anything, it can easily be detrimental to you and those in your life affected by the decisions you’re making.
We need God’s truth in its wholeness. Not just the bits we picked out because we liked them more than everything else.
What is God’s report about you?
What is His report about your life?
What is His report about your past, your present and your future?
What is His report about your nation?
What is His report about the things that already matter to you and the things that need to matter more to you?
His word is what we all desperately need above all else. Because His word carries the power to make the difference that no other word can.
So as you go to bed tonight, and wake up tomorrow morning, as you go through your days and seasons, let this be the core of your focus, let this be the filter through which you run everything else that comes your way – what’s God saying to me in this moment?