You’re Not Stupid! (But Are You Lazy?)

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scripture every day to see if what Paul said was true. – Acts 17:11

An episode of the TV series “West Wing” shows Charlie, assistant to the President approaching C. J., the press secretary after a press conference where she has evaded a question and/or put some spin on the facts.

“People aren’t stupid, y’know,” he tells her.

“In an election year everybody’s stupid,” C.J. retorts.

NO,” Charlie says pointedly, “in an election year, everybody gets treated stupid.”

You got that right, Charlie.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of having my intelligence insulted every time I turn on the news. The only reason I can think of that journalists would continue trying to influence the public with innuendos, half-truths, misquotes, and downright lies – not to mention censoring any story that doesn’t fit their agenda – is that somehow it’s working. I don’t think the majority of Americans are stupid, so why is this strategy so effective?

I’m guessing it’s because the press is counting on the fact that most voters aren’t going to fact check everything that’s reported. Whether this is a matter of being too busy, other things taking priority, or just plain laziness, few of us take the time to verify what we are hearing – or what we seem to be hearing.

Recently I took this pet peeve to social media, where attention spans are short, in the form of three posts, over a period of several weeks.

Post #1:

YOU’RE NOT STUPID. Has this happened to you? You’re watching the evening news, and the reporter quotes a statement made by someone, then looks into the camera and asks suspiciously, “But is this really TRUE?” Then he throws out a series of random facts and statistics loosely related to the topic at hand, and you’re wondering, “Wait … that doesn’t really answer the question …” or “That wasn’t really the point …”

(He reminds me of the guy putting a ball under one of three cups, then moving them around and around until you’re not sure where the ball is.)

You’re thinking, “I don’t get it …”

It’s not that you’re stupid. You’re being TREATED stupid! Most Americans aren’t as stupid as the media think we are, but how many of us are LAZY? Do your own research. In other words, FACT CHECK THE “FACT CHECKERS.”

YOU’RE NOT STUPID, Part 2

No, you’re probably not stupid, but are you LAZY? Sure, it’s easier letting someone else tell you what to think than to do your own research and think for yourself. But is it worth sacrificing the truth just to save yourself some mental effort?

Beware of general statements regarding someone’s character: “____________[person] is _________ [insulting label].” Even – especially – if the statement begins with “EVERYBODY knows …” or “It’s a well-known fact … “

Check it out. Has that person, in fact, DONE anything to merit that label? [Hint: the more the unsubstantiated statement is repeated without any facts to back it up, the greater the chance that somebody made it up.]

YOU’RE NOT STUPID (But are you LAZY?) Part III: BEWARE OF THE SOUND BYTE!

They do it on both sides, quote something the “bad guy” allegedly said, then “prove” it by playing a sound byte – usually just a few words, a few seconds long.

(Note: The shorter the sound byte, the more often it’s played, the greater the chance it’s being taken out of context and “proves” NOTHING.)

Find the original speech/interview/debate and read or listen to the WHOLE THING. You might be amazed at what was REALLY said and what the few highlighted words were referring to. I DARE YOU TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND. You might just end up changing it, and that’s OK. “A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday.” (Alexander Pope)

Remember that every human is fallible, and few, if any, of them just wake up one morning and decide to be evil – although they may be pulled in that direction if fed enough random sound bytes and they refuse to examine the context. (“Don’t bother me with facts, I’ve already made up my mind.”)

P.S. THE SAME APPLIES TO RANDOM VERSES OF SCRIPTURE QUOTED OUT OF CONTEX.

That last statement points to another choice you have that is even more crucial, where more than your country is at stake. Whatever decisions we make now (as individuals and as a nation), there will come a time when we (as individuals and as a nation) will no longer exist in this world. After that is eternity. And eternity is a very, very, very long time.

A grain of sand compared with a bucket of sand is very small. Compared to a whole beach it’s even smaller. And that grain of sand compared with the sum total of all the sand in the world – beaches, deserts, bottom of the oceans … Now how small is it?

And yet that grain of sand in the Sahara is still bigger than this life compared with eternity! So why are we so absorbed in the present? God has shown us the way to eternal life, through His Son Jesus. His words were written down for people to read through the centuries, and He has give us His Spirit to guide us as we seek the truth.

When it comes to eternity, don’t let someone else tell you what to believe. There are countless gurus using convoluted logic, stereotypical assumptions, and quoting verses from the Bible out of context. Don’t be lazy! Check out for yourself what the Bible really says. Read long passages, whole books of the Bible, even the whole Bible, asking God to help you understand and apply what you’re reading to your life. I’d love to hear about what you have discovered, especially revelations that changed your mind about any former assumptions.

If you don’t have a Bible, let me know. I’d be happy to send you one.

Prayer: Lord, You told us, “Seek, and you will find.” Forgive us for being too focused on lesser things to think about eternity. Help us to be more diligent in seeking You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

42 thoughts on “You’re Not Stupid! (But Are You Lazy?)

  1. Well, once again, you hit on an awful lot of truths Annie. I have learned, from experience, that you have to be selective on what you decide to verify because there is so much misinformation and disinformation out there that one could easily spend every waking hour doing nothing else but and we know that isn’t the answer either. And you’re right, even the fact checkers aren’t always right but you do find a pattern of reliability and you also do find a pattern of half truths and outright lies, so it’s the patterns that I look for, and that does take time. I spent five hours the other day with some research on a person. I am deliberately not mentioning her name. And five hours just scratched the surface. The woman is a machine, pumping out article after article on multiple platforms. She is knowledgeable, articulate and knows her Bible. But the pattern is fear, darn close to 85 to 90 percent. And my question was WHY? She connects the dots for others and many people buy it without taking the time, considerable time, to verify. But there are big flags, like validating the documentary Plandemic as being authentic. I had researched that one too. Plandemic was far from authentic but once again, unless you took the time to do the research you’d never know. Once again, the question, WHY? Pattern shows purpose or intent and I am of the opinion that when we become known more for conspiracies than for the Gospel we proclaim, we have let some other identity define us. And that question again, why? I know this, I want nothing to do with her because the answer to “why” is not good. It’s scary stuff and there is lots of it, in different flavours from totally different directions, like the New Apostolic Reformation movement, as but just one of many other examples. The one standard against all of this is God’s Word, so if you haven’t invested your time in God’s Word, you are basically defenceless, even though one might thing that they are not. Sorry for the rambling, this topic really gets to me because having a solid foundation in God’s Word isn’t optional, it’s an absolute necessity. And doing the required home work isn’t optional either. Excellent post. Thank you and blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes! So many people are being led by soundbytes and the media spin without checking things out for themselves. And, sadly, many of those people are in the church. Thank you for sharing your insights here, Annie! Blessings to you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A good friend of mine was so discouraged because a woman in her church had already voted for someone just because her parents voted for him. She had no idea what he stood for. How many Christians have their heads in the sand? (That leaves other parts of the anatomy pretty vulnerable!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah. Sounds familiar! I know several who are of the same line of thinking-and a couple of dear family members who still profess Christ yet are being led far astray by the influences of our agnostic relative. Phone conversations with them are carefully navigated these days. And yes, indeed! Excellent point about how vulnerable fellow believers are leaving themselves! It’s sad to witness.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. If we spend time talking with and reading the word of Him who made all, who is omniscient, who IS the Truth, and (for the Christian) has promised His Spirit to guide into ALL the truth, why would we actually waste time turning on the “news”?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Personally, between all the fearmongering, rage, and lies that I know millions are believing and I can’t refute, the news is just too emotionally draining. And we are discouraged from getting together with other Christians! But God does make a way. One thing that really encourages me is Christian radio.

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  4. G’day, thanks for sharing!

    I liked it when you said “When it comes to eternity, don’t let someone else tell you what to believe. There are countless gurus using convoluted logic, stereotypical assumptions, and quoting verses from the Bible out of context. Don’t be lazy! Check out for yourself what the Bible really says. Read long passages, whole books of the Bible, even the whole Bible, asking God to help you understand and apply what you’re reading to your life. I’d love to hear about what you have discovered, especially revelations that changed your mind about any former assumptions.” Lots of things wanting our attention today, heaps of distractions.

    I have rediscovered the importance of reading the words of Christ and engaging on a deeper level rather than oh thats nice and move to the next verse.

    Also i saw a video recently of random people (it seemed like it lol) being stopped on the street and asked about what they thought of one of the political debates (before it had even happened). The interviewer made up a bunch of stuff like Trump came in on a motorbike or some other silly thing. Every person was like oh yeah i watched it, i loved that part. Crazy. I am glad I am not in in America and while politics in Australia is no where near as circus like, its still a bit of a show.

    Keep connected to the Vine!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s funny, but you are right that the whole video could have been staged! Ugh. Thankfully there are still a lot of sane, Christian people in America, but the media only covers the circus. I’ve been worried about Australia! The media makes it sound like you are very locked down. How are things?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Australia is fine, how lever the state I live in(Victoria and particularly my city Melbourne) has had the harshest restrictions in Australia. 5 months I think of not being able to go beyond 5km, having no one at your house and so on. Those restrictions eased just a little last weekend. But who knows what’s next lol, there Was a bunch of protests in Melbourne a couple of days ago, and of course they didn’t practice any safety so that could all change today. Here’s hoping that Jesus comes back today right!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes, it is pathetic how clueless people are – and then they are too proud to admit they know nothing about the subject at hand! One of my go-to responses on a lot of topics is, “I don’t know enough to have an opinion.” But it’s amazing how many people know NOTHING and STILL want to air their opinion. @#$%^&*

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well said and wise words. I feel like we are at the point where the Bible is one of the few sources we can trust. As Bruce said, so much information has been shared by well-meaning people (including myself) that LOOKS so real and SOUNDS scientific or like an eye-witness statement, but we have to remember that anyone can make those videos or write articles because they are rarely verified. The whole Q thing is non-verifiable! I’ve stopped watching and sharing things like that because I have regretted in the past. I have friends that studiously follow prepping gurus and end times prophets, but do they read their Bibles? I hope so, because that is where the peace is. A grain of sand, dust to dust. Eternal perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I honestly don’t think people even need more facts. What is it that would cause someone to think that a leader who has had a series of failed marriages would make a good leader. One woman after another and at the very least not even an admittance of failure or need for repentance. Right now I am separated from my children by a powerful controlling man. Why would people vote for someone who is okay with mothers being separated from their children? Maybe when people have been cast off enough via unwanted divorce and torn from their children enough they will see clearly. God will send us what we need to open our eyes. We don’t need more Scripture. We need to obey the scripture we already know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen! There’s enough we do know in Scripture to keep most of us busy. I do think it’s a mistake to assume most Americans know what the Bible says. (For example, some people think the Bible says “God helps those who help themselves,” and the truth is quite the opposite!)
      It’s also a mistake to think that ANY one person can save us, unless that Person is Jesus. As Congressman Louis Gohmer said, “Our hope will not arrive on Air Force One, our hope is in Jesus Christ.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually don’t think having never read the Bible is an excuse. In Romans Paul talks about how the Gentiles who didn’t have the scriptures that the Jewish people had instinctively knew that something was wrong. And that the scripture possessing people were causing God’s name to be blasphemed because they were endorsing something that was obviously wrong. It’s no good to say I voted for the person who claimed to be anti-abortion while I ignored everything else. Adolph Hitler was anti-abortion and there were severe penalties for anyone who broke this law. My mother’s father grew up under the Nazis in Germany. Should I praise him for voting for Hitler on these grounds? If it’s true that both sides are evil then don’t vote. If there is a side that is not evil then vote for that side. We are never called to endorse evil. Our hope is in the spirit of Jesus Christ getting into our hearts and our minds.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I know people with that point of view, and they are voting for neither. My view is that if we don’t vote for the lesser of two evils, we leave a vote for the greater evil unchallenged. We are to be the salt of the earth. Salt slows down decay, but can’t prevent it forever. But if you choose not to vote, I would respect that choice, too. It’s not an easy decision.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just don’t think you can challenge evil with evil. It’s like 50 shades of grey being okay cause it’s not black. I know the struggle though. I would have my kids who have severe autism with me right now if I settled for a nonChristian live in boyfriend to help me as no one else was willing to commit. I refused to challenge evil that way but I would be lying to say I wasn’t tempted and wasn’t in anguish asking God to take this cup from me. Evil has custody of my children right now but I have hope in Christ that He will bring them back from captivity.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent!

    On Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 6:48 PM Seeking Divine Perspective wrote:

    > seekingdivineperspective posted: ” Now the Bereans were of more noble > character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great > eagerness and examined the Scripture every day to see if what Paul said was > true. ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for offering Bibles to those that might not have one. What a wonderful thing to do.

    I miss the times when the news was the news and opinion pieces were clearly labeled as such. We’re so busy with our lives that we just want to ingest the news and be done with it. I don’t blame them. But you are right – believing a few words out of context or calling someone names just because “everyone knows it’s the truth” is a terrible plague.

    Like

  9. You’re right, we are way too busy to do the research on everything we hear or read. I just want people to know that there’s a lot of dishonesty in news, and if I can’t research it, I will take the position of “I don’t know enough to have an opinion.”
    P. S. Do you remember the Saturday Night Live character played by Gilda Radnor who came on the news and gave an impassioned, fist pounding opinion piece, until she was told she had misconstrued something, after which she’d instantly smile sweetly and say, “Never mind”? I want to avoid those foot-in-mouth moments. 😉

    Like

  10. Yes!!!!! This is what’s so frustrating..people voting because they’ve heard so in so is going to help whatever situation to their benefit BUT they fail to collect all the details..especially the negatives, never getting the full picture.

    Sad times. God’s mercy and grace!!

    Like

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