We have all heard the term “keeping abreast of the latest news.” It’s a fairly common phrase. I have always thought it meant to keep informed on the latest happenings in the world. It has a deeper meaning.
The word “abreast” is defined to mean “beside one another in a line” or two ships docked “side by side.” The etymology of the word comes from Middle English and is made up of two words a – (“on” or “at”) and breast (“chests in line, side-by-side”). It is a word that infers proximity.
Paul wrote about our spiritual armor and referred to the chest area of our body when he wrote, “Put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14). The breastplate Paul spoke about is constructed of the righteousness of Jesus Christ designed to cover a vital part of our spiritual anatomy. In the original language, the word “righteousness” is defined as “integrity, virtue, correctness in thinking, feeling or acting.” This breastplate covers the area of our heart where our emotions, thoughts, and choices come from. The book of Proverbs warns us about the condition of our heart, “Above all things, guard your heart” (4:23). Jesus said of our hearts, “But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you” (Matthew 15:18).
When we receive something from a news source and attempt to interpret the validity of its content, the condition of our hearts will determine what we allow to stand side-by-side with us in our opinion or predisposition. We can too easily dock our opinion alongside what is familiar and accepted by friends and co-workers and never entertain the value of an opposing opinion. At this point, we have allowed human opinion, not the righteousness of Christ to be our heart covering and the ultimate interpreter of truth.
To keep abreast of the latest news and the affairs of life requires that first and foremost we discern the condition of our heart before we try to discern the content of the news. Is the condition of my heart aligned with integrity and virtue? Is the response I am about to release regarding a hot-button social issue in line with the righteousness of Jesus? If not, my heart will be exposed to influences that lack integrity, truth and a right response. My interpretation of reality will be at odds with God’s truth.
In the end, the uncovered state of our heart will leave us vulnerable to an attack of disinformation and we will not be aligned with what is truly righteous. Above all things…