Confirmation Bias

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

January 28, 2024

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Confirmation Bias

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Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Think

Do you consistently wake up with a “blue” mood, as if a perpetual cloud hovers overhead, reminiscent of the sad character from Charlie Brown surrounded by a permanent cloud of dust? Your mornings start with checking bleak emails, scrolling through never-ending negative news apps, and browsing cynical social media. Then, you are bombarded by a sense of doom and gloom. It’s easy to get trapped in this cycle, but there’s a concept I recently stumbled upon that sheds light on this phenomenon: confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. In simpler terms, what we believe internally shapes our external perspective. Our thoughts evolve into our feelings, which evolve into beliefs, influencing what we see and ultimately shaping the reality we live in. If thoughts of doom and gloom dominate our mindset, it permeates our feelings and colors everything around us with that same sense of darkness.

But Jesus came to give us power, might, grace, mercy, and hope. He didn’t leave us in the dust of doom and gloom. He offered hope through the cross and the power of Jesus. Knowing the battle we face, the apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:8, offers guidance for our daily struggles. He encourages us to set our minds on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Essentially, he urges us to actively seek out and focus on the positive elements in our lives.
Thinking about things that are lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise may require a conscious effort, especially when surrounded by negativity. The recent challenges we’ve encountered may have rewired us to expect gloom, making it difficult to peel back the layers of doubt, discouragement, and despair. However, as Christians, we have a deeper truth — Jesus. He sacrificed Himself to empower us with the ability to see evidence of His goodness all around.

It’s time to challenge our beliefs, question the negative patterns, and rediscover the essence of our faith. Despite external circumstances, we have the authority to decide what we truly believe about the ways of God. What we choose to believe becomes the lens through which we perceive the world and ultimately shapes who we become. Let’s anchor our thoughts in the transformative power of Jesus and cultivate a mindset that reflects His grace, mercy, and hope in our daily lives.

Apply

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you break free from confirmation bias and see the world through the lens of God’s truth. Invite Him to reshape your thoughts. Allow God’s Word to permeate your mind, transforming your thought patterns.

Pray

God, we know the power of our thoughts and acknowledge the times when our minds were clouded with negativity. We ask for guidance and grace to transform our thinking. Be our guide, and let your truth permeate our minds. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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