Acts 21: 27-30: ‘Fake news.’

“27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, ‘Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place.’ 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.)  30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut.” NIV UK

I was thinking how prejudice tends to misrepresent people. Paul’s words and actions were portrayed in a negative light. Sometimes, the things a person says or does are maliciously used against them. Somebody puts a distorted spin on their words and deeds, because they don’t like them. Or they don’t like what they stand for. So, don’t rush to conclusions. Examine your motives. Be careful about what you say. A rumour is not like butter; as someone said,once you have spread it you can’t unspread it! Don’t repeat ‘fake news.’ A lie is never more palatable than when it is wrapped up inside a lot of truth. We are drawn to the truth and swallow the falsehood with it.

If you honestly examine your heart, you may find that you want to misrepresent them; that you want to ‘’kill’’ them; and there is more than one form of ‘killing’. You can kill a reputation just like that; and lies have influence. Read today’s passage and tell me they don’t.

PRAYER: Lord, I confess that at times I have thought wrong things about others. Please forgive me for lies I have believed, and spoken. Only you know the truth about each person, and I am no-one’s judge.