How long is it appropriate to grieve about new awareness of human behavior? Is it healthy to rehearse our grief? Does continuing to be upset — hinder accepting the new facts and beginning to strategize what God might be calling us to do in light of them?
People should not lie for personal gain. But many people do. The percentage of people who do so often — is dramatically higher than I previously believed. Some people may be reciting lies unaware, but it is impossible to know the percentage of that behavior as well.
This pattern of wanton lying and unaware misinformation could be the death knell of our democracy and civilization. Is God calling some of us, all of us, me, to do something?
While these questions seem compelling and important, they also create a state of unease and grief that can at times be overwhelming.
Throughout my career as a Pastor, I have advised people to tolerate and live with their grief for a time rather than quickly dismissing it and getting back to a familiar more joyful daily rhythm. This advice might be appropriate for the situation now in place regarding misinformation.
Jesus said: “The truth will set you free”. Jesus asked the disciples to endure discomfort and even persecution in service of the truth. Jesus challenged us to be aware of the signs of the times so we can be ready and strong when we stand before God. (Luke 21:30-36)
Advent and Christmas challenge us to embrace a new relationship between humans and God. This new relationship should be based on truth – rather than preference. I prefer that fewer humans were duped and fewer were liars. But if my preference is hindering my acceptance of truth and therefore my effectiveness in the task of battling misinformation, I will stop focusing on my preference and reluctantly acknowledge the truth which will then allow my strategies to be more factually based.
Usually, December is a time to seek inner peace so that the celebration of the coming of Jesus can be most helpful. But perhaps this year, truth is more important than inner peace.
Pastor Mike Krewson