Your prophets have said
so many foolish things, false to the core.
They did not save you from exile
by pointing out your sins.
Instead, they painted false pictures,
filling you with false hope.
Lamentations 2:14 (NLT)
When I read about the ancient prophets telling people what they wanted to hear, I can’t help but think of the talking heads I find on every news channel and Sunday morning political talk show. I have gone on record saying that I find myself watching less and less of the news channels and news programs these days. The spinning and distortion of facts to defend untenable political positions happens on every side of the political isle. Whether a socialist regime, a tyrant, a dictatorship, a monarchy, a commonwealth or a representative republic, politics is filled with people who are vying for and clinging to power and all the personal gain it creates.
It was no different in Jeremiah’s day. The story of Jeremiah is a story of Shakespearean proportions. Jeremiah went to great lengths to warn the people of Jerusalem, including the king, that Babylon was coming. He urged the king and people to wake up from their spiritual slumber and repent. Yet Jeremiah stood alone against a host of prophets who spun and distorted the facts to solidify their personal standing and to tell the king and the public what they wanted to hear: everything is okay. Jeremiah was hated, publicly humiliated, persecuted, tortured and imprisoned for speaking the truth. The book of Lamentations is one of the most tragic “I told you so”s in history.
As I progress in my journey I find myself caring more about and concerning myself more with what is really true, and less about political opinions and social rhetoric. Finding what is true amidst the noise of media blasting at us 24/7/365 can be a daunting task. I often feel like a spinning compass seeking true north. To find it, I try to identify nuggets of truth to guide my thoughts.
If you keep going deeper in debt spending money you don’t have, at some point you face financial ruin. That’s true.
Since the beginning of time evil people have done evil things, and when they gain power they do evil things on a grand scale. Evil is not going away. That’s true.
Jesus said there are just two commandments. Love God. Love people. That’s true.
I can make a difference, even a small one, in the lives of people with whom I interact today through simple acts of kindness, love, grace and forgiveness. That’s true.