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Friday, October 21, 2016

Fact check it

Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.  (Romans 12:2 VOICE)
Something will "mold" our beliefs, morals, and ultimately our choices as we make our way through this world. We often have very little idea we are actually being "molded" in one way or another - it so subtle that we likely don't even notice the changes to begin with.  It isn't until we finally step back, taking in the totality of the change, that we see just how much we have been affected by the environment we are in, the people we are with, or the things we have allowed "into" our minds such as media messages. I saw a post the other day declaring that if you weigh a certain weight on earth, you'd weigh somewhere close to one-third that weight on Mars - so that meant we were living on the wrong planet!  
While this was intended as humor, you can see that the thought is it is easier to jest about being overweight on earth, wishing we could move to the red planet, and just not have to deal with it there! We may not have to "deal with it" on another planet because it wouldn't "report" on the scale as the same weight, but would we really be any different in total body mass there?  No. We just have a different set of "input" by which we now view ourselves.
Lots of times we find the "viewpoint" that conforms to what we want to believe or hear, rather than seeking the viewpoint that might make us a little uncomfortable, or creates enough sense of unease in our lives that we actually begin to deal with whatever has been molding us into what it is we have become. When we do this, we lose ourselves in whatever it is we are trying to actually avoid facing - we are no longer resisting the "molding" - we are becoming what we are most influenced by in life. 
I frequently engage in performing "fact checks" in my own life. I want to make sure I am seeing things as I should, not just changing my viewpoint to make it look as though I am on the right path. That is why I advocate "fact checking" against reliable and consistent sources - such as scripture. If it said it once, it will say it again - I just need to figure out if I am listening to it, embracing it, and allowing it to transform my life (mold me) and not the other things or people who might want to influence me in a certain direction. When I see drift, I have one of two choices - get back on course with what scripture declares; or allow the drift to continue. It is impossible to stay where I am at - either I anchor deeply into truth, or I will drift aimlessly - there is no middle ground. Truthfully, we never just "stay where we are" - drift means we are not anchored at all!
As hard as it may be to go back to the facts, comparing my present condition or performance against what scripture declares or commands, it is well worth the effort. When we do, we are doing more than just moving onto a new place where we won't look or feel all that bad, such as the one who wants to move to Mars. We are moving out of a place where we shouldn't have been in the first place, but which we drifted into because we were being molded by some influence either inside of us, or external to us which we didn't see at first. Sometimes facing reality is hard - but when facing it head-on brings us back to "anchor" in life, it is well worth the "reality check". Just sayin!