20 March • Monday of the Fourth Week in Lent
5. Thus says the LORD:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6. He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
7. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.
8. He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
10. “I the LORD search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
11. Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch,
so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him,
and at his end he will be a fool.
12. A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.
13. O LORD, the hope of Israel,
all who forsake you shall be put to shame;
those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth,
for they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water.
14. Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved,
for you are my praise.
15. Behold, they say to me,
“Where is the word of the LORD?
Let it come!”
16. I have not run away from being your shepherd, nor have I desired the day of sickness.
You know what came out of my lips; it was before your face.
17. Be not a terror to me;
you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18. Let those be put to shame who persecute me, but let me not be put to shame;
let them be dismayed,
but let me not be dismayed;
bring upon them the day of disaster;
destroy them with double destruction!
It is increasingly difficult to discern truth from untruth, let alone separate truth from half-truth.
We are constantly inundated with false information, misinformation and disinformation. They are extremely destructive and divisive, generating hatred for people and nations, and polarising communities.
Be reminded that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (v.9). Some people are paid to propagate falsehoods and half-truths precisely to achieve the wicked aims of paymasters. More often than not, Christians also help to propagate such deceit and sow seeds of wickedness.
How can we avoid being used for this purpose?
First, have a skeptical mind. Do not trust in “man and makes flesh his strength” (v.5). Much of these information are earthly and fleshly. They are not edifying to the spirit. Since the human heart is deceitful, and are also self-deceived, we will do well to question the source and veracity of the information before we buy into it, let alone share it. If we can’t verify the source or confirm its veracity, it is best to delete it and tell our friends not to inundate us with such information.
Second, trust only in the Lord (v.7). Drink deeply from the Word of life and pray for discernment to separate truth from falsehood. Nourished by the living water of life, we can be firmly rooted in the truth, sustain our spiritual growth and bear the fruit of the Spirit in all things (v.8).
Third, Let the Lord “search our heart and test our mind” (v.10). Be rightly motivated in sharing information for the good of the community. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Mt 5:9). Ask ourselves, why are we sharing this? Is this a truth that edifies and builds up? Is this helping to unite the world for peace?
Jesus, You created the world which is now divided against itself. Conflict and corruption is destroying Your world. We pray that we will be able to mediate healing to this broken world by trusting in You and allowing You to make us peacemakers. Grant us wisdom and courage to call out falsehood and testify to the Truth in Jesus Christ who alone can set us free. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Constantly search our hearts and test our minds under the scrutiny of God’s Word. Determine to be the bearer of truth and peace. Delete unverifiable sources of negative information about people or nations instead of sharing them. Seek to share positive and inspiring information that edify and nurture the spirit of humanity.
Rev Dr William Wan, JP., PhD.
Singapore Kindness Movement