During a debate I heard someone object to the word truth. “Truth is in the eye of the beholder,” he said. Someone else shot back, “Is your statement true?” Especially before elections, people feel entitled not only to their own opinions but also to their own facts. Here are three warning signs you need a break from the news.
You’re talking out loud to the TV
During an interview, a famous author came under fire, accused of being callous toward refugees. He asked the host, “Did you know I’ve raised over $15 million dollars to assist refugees in crisis?” She had no idea. Unrepentant, she continued framing every question for fireworks. Fights sell the news. Hidden agendas don’t always get exposed like this. Is your news consumption only affirming your biases? Is it creating blind spots?
You are becoming your opinion
Churchill’s said: “If two people agree on everything then one of them may be unnecessary.” Agreeable disagreements are healthy. They can function like an immune system rooting out falsehood in others— or in us. If you’re offended by any opposing point of view, it’s time to start distinguishing between your current opinions and your enduring identity.
Groupthink seems normal
People who cave to groupthink often struggle to disagree agreeably. Groupthink feeds on us vs. them. It puts loyalty to a tribe ahead even of loyalty to truth. Conscience can get lost in the mob. If you find yourself organizing around the loudest or most anxious voice in the room, it’s time to distance yourself from the herd.
Scripture teaches the why, what, and who, of doing justly and loving mercy. It does not always get specific about how. Politics often divides over the how. In the coming month, let’s remember we all have blindspots. We cannot always see the common value under someone else’s HOW.
“…do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).