Be it the church (big Church or local), politics, or even in gatherings of friends, what I increasingly notice are focused efforts to, not lie exactly, but to underscore a certain impression. Imagine if, for example, there was a teacher who, every time a student in her room got a grade below 75, she raised it in the teachers lounge in conversation. It wouldn’t matter if the student actually had a high average, getting many more grades over 75 than under, the other teachers would think that this was a problem student simply from what they heard. Or, what if I started reporting everytime I sat in front of my house and saw someone speeding down my street? I could do this frequently. If I posted it on Facebook, you would get a steady drum beat of speeding stories and think, “I never would want to live where he lives.” But you would not know of the vast number of cars that drive down my street very safely.
Take a human tendency to focus on bad news over good news and mix it with people who desire a certain outcome, and we are setup to be manipulated. We can come away with a very skewed picture of reality as others will give us the “bad news drumbeat” to get us to believe what they want us to believe.
Knowledge is power. Be alert to people (and organizations) presenting information to you which have an agenda. Be especially alert if they regularly feed you “bad news.” Consider why people, or groups of people, are trying to make the impression that they are.
In an “information age,” it is becoming increasingly important for us to be discerning as we take in what we do.
All the best and until next time,