When I was in nursing school, our exams had one format: 4 multiple choice questions with answers designated A, B, C, and D. We were taught that two of the responses were distractors; first, identify and eliminate the false answers. The remaining answers were closely related, almost containing the same content, but only one could be correct. Looking for specific keywords would result in an accurate answer.
An example: The nurse would teach the patient newly diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) and a new prescription the following instructions to manage their illness:
A. Hypertension is a temporary condition, eat a salt-restricted diet, and you will recover
B. Hypertension requires a controlled diet, exercise, medication, and taking daily blood pressures
C. Hypertension requires weekly Dr. appointments for the first two months, drinking an adequate amount of fluids, a controlled diet, and taking daily blood pressures
D. Hypertension is a lifelong illness that can never be controlled without eating a 2000 calorie diet.
Answers A and D are the distractors, which leaves answers B and C. Although answer C contains the correct information, the physician determines the frequency of follow-up visits for their patients, eliminating answer C. The correct answer is B.
The simplified version of proving the nursing student’s ability to apply theoretical knowledge to clinical situations became much more complicated further into the program. At times it appeared to be nearly impossible to determine the truth from the false distractors.
We live in a time where misinformation and fake news have saturated our environment like a soaking wet dishcloth. We are bombarded with so many opinions, disclaimers, confessions, and newly revealed information that was previously hidden from the public that many people are unable to tell the difference between truthful facts and false, twisted information. And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. Matthew 24:4-5
Recently, I read a Devotional from a Pastor who clarified a few of the false sayings that Jesus never said, yet, we have embraced and incorporated these false teachings into our lives:
1. I will forgive you even if you do not forgive others.
2. Forgive but never forget.
3. If you have lived a life in poverty, you will automatically receive Eternal life.
4. The seventh-day Sabbath was abolished when Jesus died on the cross.
5. Only help those in need if you have saved enough money for the future.
There are many false teachings that Believers are practicing but are unable to substantiate their origin. The scriptures forewarn us to test the behaviors, customs, and concepts of this world.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
The enemy (Satan) tries to wrap and twist human minds. To the one who will listen to him, he presents ideas that are odd and peculiar, which will create a sensation. Ellen G. White
The New Normal includes the widespread dissemination of false information. Even so, God has given us a reference point. What does the scripture mean “to test that you can discern the will of God?” There is no “new and improved” regarding the Word of God.” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings…Hebrews 13:8-9.
Can you recall hearing something and your gut feeling told you it was not true? The gut feeling was the Holy Spirit warning you that something was wrong. When we stay close to God through prayer and diligent study of the Bible, false teachings and concepts cause conflicting feelings, which you have when something is amiss.
What are the steps that we can take to avoid the acceptance of false teachings and fake news?
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Believe that God protects us from the evil in this world. God has raised up a standard that His followers recognize, we are drawn to the truth. We have protection and guidance from the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, who leads us down the Path of Righteousness. If you hear or read concepts that sound off, take it to God in prayer, it does not matter whether it is related to health, finances, or other life choices. God will always reveal the truth before we are tricked by false doctrines and fake news when we pray and wait for His answer.
Include God in every aspect of your life! Should I change jobs, buy the new vehicle, relocate, wear a facemask, stand against oppression, believe that Jesus is coming again?
Pray for spiritual discernment and wisdom. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:8-9
It is truly a blessing to serve God. We do not have to guess whether the information is true or false. God is our Heavenly Father, who is filled with love and compassion for His children. He always reveals the answer.
This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. Psalm 91:2-3
Bible Reading: Psalm 91
God, we love you and are thankful for your protection. In a world filled with blended true and false information, it is challenging for us to determine what is the absolute truth. We pray for your help as we continue to seek righteousness, and live holy and acceptable lives. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.