Life Question #2: What does the Bible Say?
Read Psalm 119:1-16
“You have ordained Your precepts, that we should keep them diligently.”
Who we listen to is who we become. Daily we are bombarded by voices giving us advice from what laundry soap is best to understanding marriage. It has been estimated that we will hear around 30,000 words per day and between 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. It is also estimated that 18 billion texts are sent every day, and over 60 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp and Facebook. Sociologists now speak of “information overload,” in which we receive excessive information, thus paralyzing our ability to make decisions. Some estimate that as much as 20 work hours are spent each week managing e-mails. Search for “the 10 best (you name the product) of 2021,” and you will soon find yourself more confused about what is the best choice than when you started. The more access we get to information, the less helpful it becomes as information we receive becomes predetermined by search-engine algorithms. The internet is not designed to give us what we need to know. Instead, it is programmed to provide us with what it thinks we want. Instead of getting helpful information, we only get the information that confirms the biases we already have. As Paul Hemp described in the Harvard Business Review, it is death by information overload.
This death of information overload is not only a problem in the business world; it is equally a problem in our spiritual lives. The problem with our information overload is that wrong information is given equal status with good information so that we can be easily swayed by what is incorrection. The cliché “I read it on the internet” becomes all too true as the internet becomes the basis for what is true and what is not. Truth no longer is relative; it is garbled in the noise of conflicting voices. Tragically the voice of Scripture also becomes muddled as it is mixed with the morality of our age. We affirm in our faith the authority of Scripture, but in our practice, it becomes merely one of many voices bending our ear.
The Psalmist, in Psalms 119, seeks to re-establish the importance and centrality of Scripture in our life by not just affirming that it is the most critical voice we listen to but that it is the basis by which all truth is defined. The law of God is the only source of truth that is always proven to be true so that we are never brought to shame because it failed. To live life rightly and find security in life, we must start with obedience to the law of God (vs. 6). To walk in the law of God is to avoid any pitfalls of unrighteousness (vs. 3). It further keeps us from falling prey to falsehood (vs. 9), so we avoid the trap of sin and corruption. Therefore, we must make the Scriptures our first source of information and the standard by which all other information is judged. When seeking the gathered information to make wise moral and life decisions, we must start with the question, “What does Scripture say?” Only then will we be able to discover the foundation for truth. The failure to begin with this question is to doom our moral and spiritual search from the start. Becoming as Christ starts by listening to the voice of Christ revealed in His Word.