Truth Marker Series: Consistency

The first two truth markers I talked about last month were humbleness (does the author claim to be some big wig or just someone who happens to know?) and fair and balanced (did the author exaggerate or write a one sided piece?).  This month, I'd like to share a third way you can tell if someone is probably telling the truth: consistency.  This actually has a few parts to it.  

1. Does the author have a history of posting things that aren't true or does he/she only post things that have been verified? How many times have you seen something posted on Facebook that you know is a hoax?  How many times has your Twitter friend posted things that are hoaxes or not true?  

2. Does the author have a bias?  If the author or poster is pro gun control, is it possible that there is even a slight exaggeration of the facts or that the author is just putting their bias twist to the story?  How often has that happened in the past?  

3. Does the author cite a source? Or is this conjecture?  Often people will say something they heard or thought they read, but has no origin.  If you know this person often makes claims without backing them up, this may very well be one of those times. 

I remember an episode of Cosby when Vanessa's boyfriend used to say, "A great man once said..." He never said which great man said it and, when asked, couldn't remember.  I think the line she spoke was something to the effect of, "If you can't tell me which great man said it, I don't want to know."  

Consistency is a huge truth marker because it goes to character.  It is possible for someone who always tells the truth to be wrong a time or two.  It is equally possible that someone who is a known liar will tell the truth once or twice.  However, when in doubt, it's best to reflect on the consistency of their character and err on the side of caution when believing things someone says who has a tendency not to tell the whole truth, color, or embellish it.  



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