When I was growing up, we had an entertainment console with a black and white TV on one side and a fold-down record player and radio on the other. Finding stations on the radio required slowly turning a knob, combined with careful listening. Despite knowing the number of the station on the radio dial, it was sometimes hard to zero in on it. Static filled the void between stations, and often, the voices of announcers overlapped, producing a garbled mishmash of sound. Even when you found what you thought was the station, verifying required knowing and recognizing the announcer’s voice to be sure.
During these days when so many shout their opinions with megaphone volume, what voices are you listening to and allowing to influence you?
When looking for items online, you often have the opportunity to apply a filter to streamline the options. Filters weed out the unnecessary and narrow focus. In the same way you apply filters for color, price, product type, or size to an online search, you can parse the voices that bombard you daily.
Consider filtering voices for the following:
I remember back-in-the-day advertising that promised items were the “gen-u-wine” article. Those who succumbed to this type of sales pitch were often disappointed with the product because the reputed qualities were absent.
Inherent in the word “authentic” is the concept of honesty, sincerity, and truth. Many of the voices in our world promote concepts, stories, or products that are counterfeit. Often, these voices rely on repetition and volume to influence, while seeking to silence the voices of others.
Test voices for authenticity based on what you know to be truth. Don’t allow repetition and volume to sway your personal convictions and beliefs.
Occasionally, I’ve allowed myself to be sucked into a webinar that promised to provide information on a topic. Many times, the presenters are a modern-day version of snake oil salesmen. Through fast-talk and showmanship, they string listeners along with expanded details and additional promises. However, when the presentation draws to a close, obtaining the promised information requires a purchase or signing up for unwanted newsletters or promotions.
Sometimes, voices are designed to create a must-have illusion and motivate a call to action. Discerning the real agenda behind these types of voices is crucial because the presenters are skilled in the art of persuasion and urge fast action. Any time a voice pushes for rapid response, take this as a major red flag. Pause long enough to think through the cost involved, and the consequences if all isn’t as promised, before blindly following this type of voice.
Recently, I heard the account of a man who attended a private gathering only to be confronted on the street outside the venue by those seeking violent confrontation. The anger of those surrounding the man increased when he failed to respond to their threats and profanity in the way they hoped. Through self-control and the ability to determine their underlying motives, the man successfully silenced those taunting him and defused the situation.
Sometimes, the sole purpose of voices is to stir up disagreement and incite confrontation. Apply the filter of discernment to these voices.
In the current climate of divisiveness, discord and unrest, negative voices seem in control. While most negative voices are external, sometimes those voices are within. Negative internal voices may be the result of lifelong criticism and blame emanating from others, or excessive expectations you place on yourself.
Just as you have the option to apply filters to what you see online, you can evaluate, reject, and silence both external and internal negative voices. In addition, attune your ears to God’s voice, which is the authentic source of truth, wisdom, and encouragement.
In the same way I learned to verify a radio station by familiarity with the announcer’s voice, you can become familiar with God’s voice by time spent in prayer.
In choosing to weed out negative voices, you enhance positive messages and prevent becoming mired in disputes and confrontations that inhibit forward motion.
“When you turn to the right or turn to the left, you will hear his voice behind you to guide you, saying, ‘This is the right path; follow it.’” Isaiah 30:21 TPT
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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