It is no news that “fake news” is now a real concept we have to grapple with. There are many forms of media today and most are easily shared and accessed, meaning that what is fact, fiction, or simply funny all exist on a similar plane, particularly on the Internet. This puts some measure of responsibility on the hearer to be discerning about the message and messenger.
Play the following video [1:09].
How to Spot Fake News (and Teach Kids to Be Media-Savvy)
- Are you good at distinguishing whether information is true or false? How do you decide? (Answers will vary. Students may feel they are quite savvy, and/or have been taught well like the students in the video; others may feel the opposite or somewhere in between. Students may discern fact from fiction using methods mentioned in the video or other methods.)
- How do truth and falsehoods impact your daily life? (Accept all reasonable answers. Students’ answers may illustrate the following ideas. False rumors can cause real pain. Deceit breaks trust. Lies can be tempting to tell to get you out of a tight spot but can become a tangled web. The truth can hurt, or be awkward to speak, but often leads to clarity. Knowing the truth about a situation helps you make a good choice, or may provide understanding or closure.)
It is important to understand the various forms of information you interact with and how to know what is factual, so that your opinions and decisions can be well informed. It is also important to be aware of the many messages you take in day to day and to wisely discern what is true and good and right, avoiding lies that are tempting but are truly a trap.
Even Jesus experienced just this kind of situation. Today we’ll discover how He discerned between those tempting traps and the truth.