It’s important that we ask ourselves how we form our own opinions, and take a long, hard look at who or what is crafting those opinions. If all the information you acquire about a certain subject comes from one or only a handful of similar sources, your life-building opinions might be formed not by truth, but by a self-affirming echo chamber of fallacies.
Consequently, we as rational Christians need to be intentional about diversifying the portfolio of channels by which we get input, while simultaneously saturating ourselves in the ultimate source of truth: the Bible.
And as we make comparisons between our input channels and the Word of God, we’re able to grasp a robust collection of information and opinions, comparing them directly with Scripture. Scripture then filters the information and cultural opinion, leaving us with the building blocks to assemble an abundant life that honors the Lord and brings glory to Jesus Christ.
When it comes to my social media platforms, for example, I intentionally follow a few people and organizations that I know I disagree with, just to make sure I’m not digitally surrounding myself with folks who only think and believe the way I think and believe. Sometimes my social media feed can shock me as I’m scrolling through it, but I try to be intentional about listening to the opinions of others who don’t share my values but can communicate theirs with respect, humor, and intelligence.
That being said, it’s important to be careful about how much input we get from sources who we know don’t follow Christ or value a life based on the teachings of the Bible, lest we allow the secular culture to enchant and colonize our minds and hearts.
For the Christian, Scripture is always the filter of our culture, not the other way around. You are being discipled all day, every day by some kind of influential force, whether you’re aware of it or not. Knowing that, it’s of extreme importance that we yield to the discipleship of God’s Word, not the ever-shifting opinion of the culture made manifest by hyper-speed networks of internet influence.
This is much easier to do if we are critical thinkers who stand on the solid rock of Scripture. Christians are people who should apply robust thought and contemplation to all the areas of input in our lives.
If there’s a lack of critical thinking about how we acquire and apply information, the knowledge gap will quickly fill with all kinds of falsehood and deceit. We will become easily captivated by lies and veer away from the truth.
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked to a group of anxious people, and he exhorts them by saying, “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28–30, emphasis added).
Jesus says here that in order to gain faith, we must consider the lilies and see how God takes care of them. Since we are much more valuable to God than flowers or grass or birds, God will take care of us. Work it through and think intentionally about these facts. Consider it. Reason with it. Deduce the truth.
People with little or no visible faith are people who just react and never really think deeply about much. They let their feelings and emotions harass and enslave them; the circumstances of their lives corner, capture, and oppress them.
It takes thought, however, to be a person of faith. When information floods into your life via the unrelenting digital world of social media and news notifications, don’t think less and let circumstances push you further and further into confusion or doubt. Instead, work through the information critically and think more.
Consider and allow thoughtful, truth-saturated reasoning to strengthen your perspective, your worldview, and your faith—because your faith should be rooted in thought.
To be a person of faith is to think more and comprehend the realities of truth all around us. Work through, grasp, fathom, discern, consider, understand—think! Much in this world will pull you from thought, but faith will lead you to use your God-given brain more deeply.
This isn’t a popular opinion among skeptics looking from the outside in on Christianity, so it’s important to visibly and vocally live the reality of walking by faith as we stay grounded in thought.