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As I scrolled through a social media feed, I glanced at the one-liners and wondered, “Does that apply to me?”

I clicked on an article that piqued my interest. “Is it something I should take to heart or just advice?”

And so on.

Every day on social media, I am bombarded with the thoughts and advice of others. So are you, I suspect. We are inundated with articles and social media posts telling us how we ought to think and live and be. Many of these thoughts are well meaning, and some can be universally true. But if we aren’t careful and discerning, we can become too reliant on the words of others outside of our community—or, even worse, reliant on the words of others over the words of our Father. (Even as I type this article, I’m praying that its reader would take only what is helpful and useful from it and be protected from all the rest.)

The Battle of the Mind

People searching for answers have always been on the lookout for the latest and greatest advice on how to live their lives. And the advice is out there—everywhere. The self-help sections of bookstores are well stocked with new and innovative ideas. There’s advice (good and bad) in articles, on TV, and on the radio. In the age of the internet, we no longer need to search far for counsel. Advice is in our faces at all times—that is, whenever we pick up our phones. And many of us, if we are honest, spend several hours doing that every day. As a result, there is a need to be even more diligent about what we believe, think, and dwell on.

The Apostle Paul understood the importance of fighting the right battles with the right tools: “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete” (2 Cor. 10:4–6, emphasis added).

If we want to grow in discernment, we will want to fill ourselves with the truth of God’s Word.

Since we are in a battle for our minds, our first line of defense is the Word of God. Every opinion, every article, every social media post—everything we consume that involves our minds—needs to be weighed against the knowledge of God. That may seem extreme, but the cost of believing the wrong thing is too great to risk doing otherwise.

We can’t, however, have a knowledge of God without seeking out God. And one of the primary ways we seek God is through His Word. If we believe, truly believe, that the Bible is God breathed (2 Tim. 3:16), then no book, article, or social media post can compare to the Word, which teaches us about our Savior, corrects our hearts, and trains us in righteousness.

It is tempting to run to other sources, even good resources, to give us what only God’s Word is equipped to give us. The Bible is inerrant, so everything else should be weighed against it.

The psalmists, in particular, seemed to focus on running to the Lord and meditating on His words day and night, as evidenced by Psalms 1:1–3; 16:8; 19:14; 104:34; and 119:15–16, to name a few. If we want to grow in discernment, we will want to fill ourselves with the truth of God’s Word. We can’t fight a battle without a weapon. In many ways, we must train our brains to be able to sift through the noise.

Really, the solution is easy. We don’t necessarily need to retreat from social media, and we definitely don’t want to stop reading books. These tools can be gifts that point us back to our Savior. But they are not the Word, and they can’t replace the Word.

So, what should we do? Delight in the law of the Lord day and night (Ps. 1:2). Read the Bible on a regular basis. Memorize verses about the character of God. Train your mind to discern what is true, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think on these things (Phil. 4:8).

Be ready to speak God’s truth to your heart and mind because you’ve already stored it up in your heart.

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