“Have you heard? The tsunami is coming on March 22! NASA says it will come with a magnitude 9 earthquake which will move the ground 2 inches and generate a tsunami which will ravage the coastline of Papua New Guinea.” This proclamation went viral via word of mouth, postings, and text messages. Is it true?
For several days before March 22 as I traveled along the coast between Wewak and Aitape people would stop me and ask me if it was true. Many did not think it was true, but they were still uncertain. Many of them were fearful. Many of them knew of someone who had died in the 1998 tsunami where over 2,000 people lost their lives. Knowing that this was on everyone’s mind, I stood up in both of the Aitape markets on March 21. “I want to story about the tsunami that is coming tomorrow.” I stated loudly. Immediately people started to run and in an instant a circle of people formed around me. Conversation stopped and destinations were forgotten as they listened intently for the truth. As people understood that the tsunami was a hoax, relief flooded the market as truth replaced fear and uncertainty.
Perhaps you remember the last time you believed something that turned out to be false. It happens to each of us when we do not know enough truth to expose a lie or when we choose to ignore what is true. Lies are only believable in the absence of truth. That is why the Bible says “Truth will set you free” and elsewhere “People perish for lack of knowledge”. Pursue truth.