We live in chaotic times and information abounds to help us process all of the chaos but from so many sources- each with their own biases and slants. It is imperative to be able to deduce truth in these times, to be able to think critically with wisdom, and to be able to process the information overload through a biblical view. How to do this? We compiled a list of 9 ways to think critically and biblically during crazy times:
1. What would Jesus do?
Remember those old WWJD bracelets/t shirts/bumper stickers? Well it may sound overly simple but there is some truth to asking ourselves this question from a genuine place of humility. What would Jesus think of this news story? Would He be angry? Grieved? Am I processing this the same way Jesus would?
“I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life” John 14:6
2. What does the word of God say?
How does this information line up with the Bible? Does your thinking and do your opinions on this situation/news article reflect biblical scripture and truths? Remember you can only truly think biblically if the Word of God is a regular and constant part of your life.
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11
3. Where does the love of God factor in?
You may have all the facts down pat but if you’ve left out love, compassion, and an overriding desire for people’s salvation, then your facts will simply lead you to a cold, unmoved heart.
“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2
4. What are the facts and statistics as they are and uninterpreted?
Where do you get your news from? Are you aware that almost every single news source out there has its own sets of biases and its own agendas to carry out? What do you think that does for truth? Most assuredly it taints it and/or waters it down to meet the appointed narrative. Do your research on your news sources. Who are they funded by? If you don’t have the time or inclination to do that, then consider reading news from a variety of sources so that you can get a balanced perspective and then form your own opinions. Consider researching presented statistics and facts on your own to confirm their relevance, truth, and validity.
“If you are wise, you are wise for yourself” Proverbs 9:12
5. Where does my church and leadership stand on these issues?
Talk to your pastors and leaders. If something is troubling you, ask for their thoughts and opinions on the issue. “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire, He rages against all wise judgement” Proverbs 18:1 – Don’t be one who isolates them self mentally. Always seek wise and biblical counsel and use your church leaders as a sounding board for your thoughts and opinions.
6. Understand the future of this thinking.
Where will this kind of thinking lead if we all buy into it? Sometimes certain schools of thoughts sound good in theory but when put into practice, can have future devastating effects. Understand where buying into a thought or opinion will lead you down the road. If everyone thought like this, would the world be more like the kingdom of God or less?
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12
7. Determine surrounding facts and context
Sometimes a story will be told out of context. A headline of an article may report “Man threatened woman with gun” – the context of the story however may be that the woman was banging on the man’s car and threatening his small child. Always find out context and relevant surrounding information so that you can make informed opinions.
8. Be able to recognize your own emotions and biases and how they can cloud your judgement.
Few things can cloud our thinking and judgement more than our emotions. If you find yourself reacting very emotionally to a news story, take a minute to calm yourself down before you process your thoughts and definitely before you start typing out a status update/tweet/post about it. “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32
This will then give you time to get ALL the facts and context before you further react.
9. Have a method to absorbing information and use it consistently.
Avoid sitting and watching videos and tidbits endlessly on Facebook or Instagram. Take in your news from credible sources and then adopt a method to how you allow it to be processed. Using some of the steps in this article would be a great start. An example of this could be the following process:
1. Discipline yourself and only allow yourself to take in news during set times. Make sure you have first spent time in the word of God and prayer. Use a balanced approach to reading or watching news, be sure to know both sides of the story and understand the bias involved.
2. Try not to get emotional– it will only cloud your judgement. Think first, what does scripture say about how I should process this?
3. Look up the facts and context for yourself, independently if needed.
4. If it’s still weighing on you after several days, talk to someone at your church and get their thoughts.
Adopting some of these strategies should help you be able to think critically during chaotic times. Do you have any other tips on critical and biblical thinking? Leave it in the comments!