We live in a society where we, the common masses, are spoon fed sound bytes of information. We drive down the road and see a beautiful image on a billboard with a catchy phrase. We turn on the radio while we are driving and catch a thirty second news report on the latest scandal in D.C. We plop down on the couch at the end of the day and watch well-painted people with dazzling white teeth comment on the latest murders, scandals, accidents, local happenings, sports, and weather; all under 60 seconds per story, and all before the commercial break. We go to church and watch well-groomed people dance and sing to perfectly orchestrated music while the scripture is flashed on the screen for our convenience. Then we are told about the main thing…in thirty minutes or less!
The real tragedy of the above paragraph is that it is not a satirical exaggeration. It is the truth for 99% of our population. Our lives are so busy that we do not take the time to examine the claims that are being proposed to us; we simply consume them. What’s worse is that we are not convinced that it is necessary to take the time to examine what is being proposed to us. For some, the lack of motivation to stop and thoroughly examine truth claims that are being presented comes from a pragmatic necessity. Their lives are too busy and they have become convinced that all that really matters in life is to have the ability to pay the bills and have a comfortable existence. For others, the lack of motivation to stop and examine the truth claims that barrage us on a moment by moment basis is due to mental fatigue. We suffer from information overload. We take in more data in one day than the average person of 100 years ago would take in over the course of a week, or even a month. Our brains just can’t process the information. Many of us simply give up trying to sift through all the information that we receive and become jaded, skeptical, and cease trusting that anything is true. We then, out of despondency, numb out and watch TV to escape.
These are sad and disturbing words. So, what do we do about it? First, we need to understand that we are at war and that one of the weapons the enemy is using against us is that of overload. Several years ago there was a movie called Class Action where a small time lawyer was taking on a large automobile manufacturer and suing the company for a death due to faulty wiring in the car. The manufacturer knew that the small lawyer actually had a case, so, in order to discourage the small lawyer, they resorted to the following tactic. When the small lawyer requested documentation that would prove the truth of the claim the defense granted their request. They disclosed the information the prosecutor wanted, but they went one step further. Instead of sending the requested documents, they sent hundreds of boxes full of documents in which was buried the truth. They overloaded the enemy with superfluous information in order to bewilder them and cause them to give up trying to find the truth out of shear exhaustion at the prospect of sifting through all that data. That is what Satan is doing to our minds. The fact is that in our day and age the information regarding the truth of Jesus is more readily available than ever before in history. More people can read than ever before. More Bibles are in print today than have been produced in the history of the world. Television and radio programs carry the clear message of the gospel across the planet. The internet makes the Bible accessible to everyone with a computer. In light of the accessibility of information proclaiming the truth, Satan says, “if the truth is that accessible, let’s drown it out with 10 times more garbage data and overwhelm their minds to the point of frustration.”
So, what do we do? We need to get Berean. As Christians, we need to realize that the most important source of data that we have is the Bible. If we study scripture faithfully, intensely, and intelligently, then the Holy Spirit will be able to start building a data filter in our minds that will help sift out the white noise and junk data that floods our senses. It would serve us well to shut off the TV, unplug the internet, and take some extended time to read and study the scripture everyday. Then we can sing the Psalm with David, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”