How can we teach people the gospel when their minds are full of so many different ideas? Surveys say the average person spends about two and a half hours a day on social media alone. In a week’s time people see hundreds of pictures and videos and posts. No wonder they walk around like digital zombies. Human beings don’t have the time or ability to process that much information.

The result is that people have an attention span of about a half second. They take no time to discriminate, compare, and prioritize what they see and read. This leaves them unstable in their beliefs. They are easily “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:14). When they hear the Bible, they look at it as just another post.

Preachers, elders, Bible class teachers, parents, and Christians in general are getting discouraged. But don’t lose hope. God knew all this would happen. In fact, it’s not really new.

The Bible talks about some who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim. 3:7). They are full of ideas but uneducated in the truth. The city of Athens was full of idols in Paul’s day. The people there “spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). How were they any different from people today? They didn’t enter searches on screens, but they were constantly searching. They didn’t text, but they talked.

You may say, “But how can we expect young people to listen when their minds are so used to this?” Young people can clear their minds when they want something. If a boy really likes a girl, he’s not confused about how he feels. If a girl wants a special pair of shoes, it doesn’t matter if there are hundreds of other shoes in the store. They can also think clearly about spiritual things if they want to.

It’s funny that people complain about having so much on their minds, but when a crisis comes, they focus their attention very quickly! And if they come near to death or if someone close to them dies, their minds are not cluttered.

We choose what we put in our minds, and we choose what we dwell on. Remember that “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). If we teach the Bible, it will give light and clarity to honest souls.

-Kerry Duke, Vice-President of Tennessee Bible College