BIBLE VERSE FOR THOUGHT
You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways.
Job 22: 28, ESV
DEFINITION FOR THE DAY: context
Merriam Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/context
1. the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning
2. the inter-related conditions in which something exists or occurs
Every human communication must be interpreted contextually. This is because senders and receivers exist in a set of circumstances that define the transmission of data. Now, I don't have an office over in the hermeneutics department and my understanding of the contextual elements of communication is limited. It seems to me that these contextual influences would include the particulars that give us personal identity. There are many underlying life elements that you can read into just about any exchange of information. They must include our biases, prejudices, leanings, personality, personal strengths, faith, and maybe which side of the bed I woke up on that morning. Developing the context of any news bulletin is step one in identifying fake news.
The foundational principle upon which my entire contextual situation is constructed is what I like to call the "me, myself, and I" thing. We humans are basically self-absorbed and we tend to favor "me, myself, and I" in most decisions or life actions. I don't always have a relational context with those who send me information. So, who and what they are, unless revealed to me by circumstances or events, cannot be the final interpreter of the data they have sent. Take a breath, please. You know, there is profiling, even in coming to grips with news, fake news especially. It's not always accurate, to identify people by their cultural profile. Still, information from candidates, political parties, news media outlets, people on every angle of social and cultural issues, and just about any person with an agenda, should raise out interest when interpreting their news. Their position on an issue could move the item to the fake news category.
Here's the point. You and you alone must be the interpreter of the news in your life. Others will try to shape your thoughts, influence your decisions, get your vote or money or whatever, with their slant on what's happening out there. Everyone one of us, however, should filter what we read and hear through our own personal worldview, values, beliefs, and ideals. "Me, myself, and I" must be able to analyze what we see and hear and decide how to interpret our world. It is our mot significant context.
There was a man named Job. The evil one came after him and destroyed everything that Job loved and valued. The Bible book that is named after him has many lessons about fake news. Job wrestled with his own thoughts, doubts, and fears. His three friends gave him pages of advice, some good, some not so good. The above Verses for Thought came from his friend Eliphaz the Temanite. It is a "me, myself, and I" verse, the reminder that he needed to decide on the troubling matters of his life and that the decision, shaped by his own faith, ideals, and beliefs would bring light to shine on his ways. His decision to never blame God for the horrible circumstances of his life was his personal worldview resisting the fake news of those around him. His beliefs were his most potent context.
And, that's a lesson about dealing with fake news. Tomorrow we'll review the blessing of being informed about what is happening in the world around us, resisting the weight of those who would influence us, and the joys of knowing with certainty our own personal values and worldview.
Fake news? It's real and will become more prevalent as we move into the 2020 political cycle. Everything around us will explode with fake news. In the final analysis, it will be "me, myself, and I" that must decide on what is really important.
"Me, myself, and I", the basic context.