We've heard a lot in America this year about "fake news." These two words have become as common in our homes and workplaces as morning coffee and mobile phones. Truthfully, the ideology of fake news has so pervaded Western culture that some even question if real news is possible any longer. Turn on any TV or internet media source--be it conservative or liberal--and you find no shortage of partisan commentators accusing the opposing political party of manipulating reality in order to fit its agenda. Thus, many viewers see the news as nothing more than an exercise in futility--promising to deliver truth but falling far, far short.
Yet political accusations aside and media bias notwithstanding, I think some of the "fakest" news we hear today comes from within. As commentators of our own lives, we often fail to see the truth about who we are and what we bring to the proverbial table. We report caricatures of the truth, over-criticize our weaknesses, and minimize our strengths. This, of course, sometimes leads us to question our own self-worth and can result in despair or worse. Like many reading this blog, I've struggled off and on over the years with feelings of inadequacy--too often believing that I don't measure up to my peers or am not quite good enough for the task(s) at hand. Sure, I've put on the requisite facades at the requisite times. But deep down inside, my on-scene reporter was simultaneously delivering a rather bleak estimation of the situation.
It's at times like these that I have to recognize the news for what it is--fake! I have to see through the charismatic wiles of those internal reporters, recognize their disingenuous motives, and counter their lies with truth--truth gained from the encouragement of friends and family, honest personal assessment, and, most importantly, the verity of Scripture. Psalm 62:5-6 states that only God can give peace, strength, security, and safety--all of which are elements of genuine self-worth. We cannot conjure these things of our own will, and we cannot rely on the world or other people to provide them. Furthermore, it is God through his Son Christ Jesus who demonstrated our eternal worth and his eternal love on Calvary's cross. If I were worthless, would the God of the universe have taken on human flesh and died for my sins? I sincerely doubt it! Thus, I must be worth something...pretty significant!
So, when I start to go the way of self-deprecation or despair, I have to replace the fake news with the Good News. I have to stop listening to the droning commentary going on without and within and instead fix my eyes on the Lord and on the encouraging sources (i.e., people, experiences, and Scripture) he's given me to demonstrate that I am someone for whom he cares greatly. And when I am successful in doing this, the news looks a lot less fake and a lot more good!