October 1, 2021 @ 9:00 AM

I think we can all agree on what a lie is. It is the opposite of truth. It is the intention to deceive someone into believing something that is not true. But what exactly is misinformation? Is misinformation the same thing as a lie? It can be, but it is more complicated. I hear the word “misinformation” a lot lately and specifically in the context of political discussions. It sounds less harsh than accusing someone of lying, but it can refer to a lie or simply wrong information.

Lying typically refers to a direct and intentional untruth. To label something as misinformation is far more subtle and problematic. Is the misinformation an intentional lie, innocent mistake, or ignorant lack of knowledge? It presumes the need to alter and correct an undesirable narrative.

Sometimes the reality is that what has been labeled misinformation is, in fact, truth. In which case, calling it misinformation is the actual lie. In such a situation, saying that something is misinformation when it is a true statement is a manipulative attempt to discredit the truth in favor of a preferred untrue narrative. This is often the strategy of those who have a hidden agenda and want to manipulate and control what others believe. Rejecting the reality of absolute truth, they say things like “your truth” and “my truth.” They have an unstated bias and commitment to forcing others to accept their agenda and believe their narrative. Any information that challenges their agenda, regardless of whether it is true or not, is labeled “misinformation.” Are you still with me?? In the instance of truth being called misinformation, the next logical step is to provide information (aka propaganda) to fix the problem. Truth is irrelevant here. The only goal is to force an agenda. If a bit of truth works, great. If not, a lie is fine too.

BOTTOM LINE: How do we discern truth from error -- no matter what it is called. How do we know what to believe in this current culture of deception and indoctrination?

  1. Determine for yourself that you will be characterized by seeking and speaking truth. The best way to identify a counterfeit is to be totally familiar with the real thing. People who are trained to identify counterfeit money, study the real thing. They are totally familiar with genuine Federal Reserve Notes!! To identify truth, we must be in God’s Word daily. God’s Word is truth. Reading it everyday makes us familiar with truth. We need to also put on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) daily, starting with the Belt of Truth.
  2. Understand the character of the source of information. Is the person characterized by truth and righteousness? Do they believe in God and honor Him by their actions?
  3. Do your research. Don't just trust what others say. Take time to think and pray. Ask God for wisdom. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously … and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (NASB)
  4. Be more impressed by godliness, character, and wisdom than by secular knowledge and degrees.
  5. Accept information that is consistent with what you already know to be true and reject that which is not.

Truth is the gold standard. Truth is what sets us free. Don't settle for less. Lies keep us in bondage to sin and darkness and to Satan and fear. Choose instead to walk in freedom as children of light. “...Walk as children of Light (for the fruit of Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth) ...” (Ephesians 5:8)

Focus on Truth. Keep your eyes on the gold standard,