Set Free

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 ESV).

Today is a day to be “set free” for me. At least in some small way I will get some freedom that I haven’t had since my fight with my table saw. I am scheduled to have the stitches removed and be able to resume regular activity. I am looking forward to losing the bandages changed at least twice daily. More than that I am looking forward to being able to use my thumb as I did prior to the injury; the little things like buttons and zippers, typing shoelaces are impossible to do without pain and difficulty. I will welcome that freedom greatly!

The prospect of having that returned took me to a consideration of what has come to be called “Fake News.” This phenomenon has taken our world by storm. With social media and news outlets propagating their own political agendas, it’s getting more difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Fake news websites deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Unlike satire, which seeks to entertain, fake news aims to mislead readers for financial or political gain.

A similar battle for truth takes place every day in our spiritual lives. Fake news is something the enemy has been using a long time to wage war on God’s people. It’s been around ever since the serpent deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were convinced into believing that God was holding out on them, that they didn’t need Him or His governing rule in their lives. Their willful disobedience led to shame, humiliation, and disgrace. With the bribery of the guards at Jesus’ tomb, Christ’s enemies even used fake news to try and cover up His resurrection (cf. Matthew 28:11-15).

Fake news doesn’t always come from external sources; it can often wrap itself in those inner thoughts that we struggle with from day to day. The enemy wants us stuck in the mire of shame. He wants our faith paralyzed by these internal lies. We need to trade in the fake news for the “Good News.” The only way to rightly deal with the enemy’s accusations is to continually point to the cross where Jesus took our guilt upon himself. It exposes his lies and cunning deceit. It reminds him that the sacrifice Jesus made for us was more than enough to bring us into a right relationship with God. This is the truth that really sets you free!