We live in an age of incredible growth in information. some people say that the amount of recorded information is doubling every year or two! Thanks to modern telecommunications technology and the Internet, it is now quite easy to find information about almost any topic in seconds! However, this abundance of information has highlighted the need to pro-actively confront two big problems:
(1) how to identify information that is true and useful and high priority and
(2) how to filter out or ignore information that is false, deceptive misleading or not worth looking at.
Finding true, useful and highly valuable information is almost as difficult as finding good friends or good investment opportunities. After all, the source of information is people, and we all invest a precious asset to get it - time!
Throughout history, people have obtained information from friends, relatives, neighbors and community leaders. But today, a lot of the information we read or listen to is from strangers! Typically, people know very little about who is actually writing, editing and producing the content of the information they absorb every day.
The good news is that the God who created all things loves us deeply, and long ago he foresaw this problem. Thus, He picked out 40 loyal followers and had them write a user manual for all people to know how to acquire good information and avoid bad information. This user manual is called the Bible. It's the best-selling book of all time. Although people have tried to modify it and have produced some degraded versions, God has made sure that the Hebrew and Greek text have been carefully preserved and remain available for translation into other languages. In fact, most people now have the bible in their own language, as Christians have worked hard for centuries to complete this task.
So what does the Bible say about acquiring good information? Here are 14 ideas based on some selected Bible verses:
Choose information sources cautiously.
"The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray." (Proverbs 12:26 NKJV)
... Evil associates corrupt good habits. (1 Corinthians 15:33 SCS)
Look for wise men.
A wise man will hear and increase in learning. and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:5 NASB)
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20 NKJV)
Give preference or extra consideration to people who are recognize experts in their respective fields or who quote such experts, especially experts in the investment, information technology, scientific and private investigation fields as well as active and retired military and law enforcement personnel.
Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men. (Proverbs 22:29 NKJV)
So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. (Daniel 6:4 NKJV)
Look for multiple, consistent sources.
"... so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses." (Matthew 18:16 SCS)
Give preference or extra consideration to people who care about normal, grassroots people and don't show partiality to the rich.
If you really fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself", you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors. (James 2:8,9 SCS)
Give preference or extra consideration to whistle-blowers, since they often sacrifice their jobs or even risk their lives to expose truth and since they have in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of misbehaving organizations. A good example is the Apostle Paul:
... circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; with respect to the Law, a Pharisee; with respect to zeal, persecuting the Church; with respect to the righteousness that is in the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:5,6 SCS)
"... as I was going to Damascus with authority and a commission from the chief priests, ... I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun, blazing around me and those traveling with me. Well we all fell to the ground and I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language: ... 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting ... I have appeared to you ... to appoint you as a servant and a witness both of the things you have seen and of the things I will reveal to you ...' ... Therefore, ... I still preach: 'repent and turn back to God, doing works worthy of repentance'. That is why the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me." (Acts 26:12-21 SCS)
Take time to get to know people and try to find out about their backgrounds, track records and fruit.
Jesus Christ said, "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits..."(Matthew 7:15,16 SCS)
This means it is wise to look into people's family, work and religious backgrounds as well as their age, previous information, number of years providing information, personal character and tongue. Obviously, we should be very cautious in listening to any "anonymous" information sources or people who use pseudonyms or anyone who merely reads from a script or teleprompter.
Give preference or extra consideration to people who are dedicated followers of Jesus Christ and seekers of truth
Jesus Christ said, "... If you abide in my Word, you really are my disciples; and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free." (John 8:31,32 SCS)
Don't expect perfection from anyone except Jesus Christ.
We all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, being able to bridle the whole body as well. (James 3:2 SCS)
And learn to eat the meat and spit out the bones.
Also do not take to heart everything people say ... (Ecclesiastes 7:21 NKJV)
Don't put all your eggs in one basket, but continually seek truth from various sources, testing each one.
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a servingn to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth. (Ecclesiastes 11:1,2 NKJV)
As time goes on, we should be willing to let to of old information sources and add new ones.
Be diligent to kow the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations. (Proverbs 27:23,24 NKJV)
Try to determine whose glory is sought by information sources - theirs or God's?
Jesus Christ said,"Someone who speaks on his own is seeking his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him." (John 7:18 SCS)
Meditate on the Bible every day to allow it to transform your perspective and values and ability to discern the difference between what is good and evil.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV)
... Solid food is for the mature, those who by habitual use have trained their senses to distinguish good from bad. (Hebrews 5:14 SCS)
Give preference or extra consideration to information sources that are not affiliated with mainstream media, governments, banking institutions, large religious institutions, large pharmaceutical companies and most large corporations, because these are not dedicated to the truth but are actually cooperating with Satan or his worldly system.
The devil said to Him: "To you I will give all this authority, and their glory, because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I want to. (Luke 4:6 SCS)
The whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19 SCS)
This may require some research to "follow the money," since many people will lie or neglect to tell the truth for the sake of money or their careers.
... The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil ...(1 Timothy 6:10 SCS)
For further study, see Why Nobody Should Trust the Mainstream News.
Lastly, ask our Sovereign Creator for help and wisdom to acquire and verify information.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask from the giving God, who gives to all liberally and does not reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 SCS)
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:5 NKJV)