Devotional for Tuesday June 16th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Think for yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisors make victory sure.” Proverbs 11:14
Our thought for today: “Don’t live in an echo chamber.”
This morning we will continue our discussion from yesterday about the fact that the sky is not falling and therefore it’s important that we don’t sound as if it is. When we Christians allow ourselves to get swept up in and carried away with extreme or fatalistic thinking, it diminishes the power of the redemptive message our Lord has given us to preach. In the eyes of the unbelieving world we begin to appear silly and simple-minded, and that damages our credibility.
One of the ways we can sometimes slide into a “sky is falling” perspective, is when we allow ourselves to live in an echo chamber environment. The term “echo chamber” is a metaphor for an environment where only safe and agreeable ideas are allowed in, and all others are shut out. Therefore, the only ideas the person inside the echo chamber is exposed to are those that they already agree with.
 The most extreme example of this is seen on college campuses where uncomfortable ideas and opposing ideologies are deemed as being “emotional violence”, and students are afforded safe-space echo chamber environments which they can retreat to in order to avoid anything that doesn’t conform to their way of thinking. Creating echo chamber safe-spaces for those students is extremely damaging. It reinforces the belief that they should never have to be exposed to or required to contend with opposing ideas. It also cripples their ability to engage in critical thinking.
However, conservatives are equally guilty of creating echo chambers. How many of us get our news exclusively from conservative sources? How often do we engage in serious discussions about important issues with those who think differently than us, rather than just with our friends who already agree with us? The truth is that like those students on college campuses, we too sometimes shut-out opposing points of view. Also, when we do consider opposing viewpoints, rather than going directly to the liberal sources to determine what their ideas really are, our information about those issues often comes to us filtered through the conservative reporters and commentators we rely on for our news.
This is life in an echo chamber and it amounts to allowing others to think for us. But in Proverbs 11:14 Solomon was writing about the importance of considering various points of view before we come to the conclusion that we fully understand an issue and therefore know everything we need to know about it.
The further our nation drifts from Biblical principles, the more important it is for Christians to be strong and clear in our thinking and able to articulate our message in a reasoned and convincing manner. Life lived in an echo chamber is not only limiting, it is damaging in that it hinders our ability to effectively engage with those who think differently than us. This is so important that we will continue our discussion of it tomorrow by considering a courageous and inspiring example from President Abraham Lincoln. He refused to allow an echo chamber environment to exist in his White House.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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