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RESEARCH TO SHOW YOUSELF INFORMED
As with any presidential election (and I can only speak on those held in the USA), there are people for and against a particular candidate running for office. Opinions are offered (both positive and negative), remarks are raised (both positive and negative), and views are voiced (both positive and negative), as is the right of all Americans per our Constitution.
The concern I have from what I’m observing with this particular and current presidential election, is that a large majority of the opinions, remarks, and views, especially the negative ones concentrated on the incumbent President, are based on information largely provided by our national media.
I am grateful that my country has a system in place to provide its citizens with information. I appreciate having the ability to obtain information on just about any subject by watching a television news program, listening to radio broadcasts (talk and news), reading a newspaper or magazine article, or hearing Jim-Bob tell me what he heard or thought “so-and-so” said.
However, when it’s all said and told to me which way the horizon is situated in the sky each week, I prefer to do my own research to insure that I am adequately, sufficiently, and truthfully informed, especially on any and all subjects I must make decisions on.
If you, my greatly appreciated readers, choose to make decisions, political or otherwise, based primarily and/or solely on information provided by the media, let me offer a brief prayer for you and share my views on that.
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for readers who largely believe the media, and that You would help them. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”
In his second letter to the young preacher called, Timothy, the Apostle Paul tells him to “Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 – ASV)
The word, “aright,” is an old English word meaning without sin or crime. The way many things are reported in the media today, which in turn influences the decisions people make, is what I adamantly see as both sinful and a crime. Fortunately, we have the ability to do our own research and not have to rely on the media to get truthful information.
“Try to show God that you are a good worker. Do nothing you would be ashamed of. Tell the message in the right way.” (2 Timothy 2:15 – WE)
When the Apostle Paul was converted to Christianity, he had some previous issues that hindered his newly received credibility as a proponent/trustee of the Gospel. Though in his actions and presentations he was convincing, diligent, eloquent, a good example, humble, intelligent, and thorough (as some of our media familiars present themselves to be), a group of people in Scripture known as the Bereans, show us the importance of validating information given, no matter who is giving it. “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth.” (Acts 17:11 – NLT)
What’s really powerful about this example is that the Bereans only had the Torah (the Jewish religious laws and oral traditions) and the writings of the prophets to verify Paul’s teachings. They didn’t have dictionaries, encyclopedias, the internet, or reference periodicals like we do today. Because we have such a privilege, we, even more so than the Bereans, can do our own research on societal issues and otherwise, to make informed decisions. We don’t have to limit ourselves to having to “rely” on the words of CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, Brokaw, Koppel, Rather, Wallace, or Rooney.
“Strive diligently to present thyself approved to God, a workman that has not to be ashamed, cutting in a straight line the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 – Darby)
When Jesus met and talked with a Samaritan woman at a well in the city of Sychar (John 4), the woman was so impressed with what He told her, that she went and informed her fellow citizens (John 4:28-29). The townspeople heard her, then went to see the Christ for themselves (John 4:30). In the end, many Samaritans believed on the Lord based on the woman’s words (John 4:39), but many more believed because they did their own research (John 4:41-42).
We should strive to know the truth not only regarding the Word of God as 2 Timothy 2:15 primarily speaks to, but regarding issues and things requiring us to make long or short-term decisions. Before settling on a candidate for this presidential election, or make any other life-impacting decisions, do your own research! Don’t be culled by CNN, build off of Brokaw, cop-out to Koppel, way-laid by Wallace, hog-washed by the Washington Post, nixed by the New York Times, ruined by Rooney, and for Rather – you’d just rather not. Research to show yourself informed.
“Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.” (2 Timothy 2:15 – The Message)
Copyright 2004 © Paul Schneidmill