Let’s turn the clock back several decades to see our interaction with the media. The average person would go to work, or care for their family at home, and watch the nightly news for half an hour, and then get the clan to bed.
Of course that is not the same today. In fact, many don’t realize how different things are now compared to the early 2000’s. Even at the turn of the century we had the opportunity to watch 24/7 cable news. But in order to consume events as they happened, we had to be in front of a television.
Things are different than a short decade ago. We now get immediate news alerts on our phones. We can listen to news during a walk through podcasts. We can even be in the grocery store and watch live footage of some riot, fire, or some other tragedy. Stories we were unaware of because they were in some remote area of the world are now streamed in front of us during a lunch break.
There have definitely been some blessings from immediate access to information. When the media is lying, some YouTuber may be live-streaming an event so we can directly see what is going on. If we have family in an area of some natural disaster, we can quickly learn if everyone is okay.
This avalanche of information, however, has caused an extreme rise in anxiety for many. Why? Because instead of just having some basic information of some evils of the world, we can literally watch and be consumed by evil that is happening every waking minute of the day. Let’s also be honest, good news doesn’t sell. So we continually are fed the day’s evil going on in each corner of the globe. This has caused many to become fearful, depressed, and isolated.
I believe for many people – the media has put the weight of the world on their shoulders. In other words, people feel like they can help fix things or make them right by informing others of what is going on in the world. There is no doubt that when things are brought into the light and are exposed, they can be rectified. However, that is not always the case, whether the event is local, national or international.
On a deeper level, many almost feel personally responsible. They do so because the media and social media want them to believe that if more people just knew about what evils were going on, it could be fixed. As stated already, in some senses this is true. Unfortunately in many cases it is not. Rarely can one person change the trajectory of the world. Some headlines that the Christian considers evil are not considered evil by others. For some, it is more than just being informed.
What are the results? People feel alarmed, hopeless, worried, or at best frustrated. Believing they can change things, when they can not, leaves them exhausted if they continue to chase the ever-changing news, facts, opinions. So what godly wisdom do we have for this situation?
- While we fight for truth, we only have the influence God has given us.
Fighting for truth is good and godly. That being said, we only have the influence God has given us. God has not given any of us the power to influence the entire country, let alone the world. We can and should share God’s truths, expose evil, and bring it to light. At the same time the weight of the world should not be on our shoulders. We can share the truth, but we can’t make people believe it. Even if we are able to change a few hearts or minds, we almost never will personally be able to change lots of people’s views.
- While we expose evil, our sovereign God is ultimately in charge.
Again, I am not advocating for us to put our heads in the sand as Christians. However, we must never forget that God is sovereignly in charge. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” There are times He allows evil because He is doing something bigger. Once we do what we believe we are called to, we need to leave the rest to Him. Remember, the cross was evil. It was sinful to kill a sinless Messiah, but it was used by God to bring us salvation.
- King Jesus should be our focus.
The question is not are we civilly involved in society, but where is our primary focus and attention? Is it the news, politics, and pressures of the world, or is it King Jesus? When we are focused on Christ, He carries our burdens for us. In fact He tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God” in Matthew 6:33. When we focus on the world, that will be what our main concern. Spend more time in His Word, in prayer, and focused on Him then you do the media, news, or social media.
Do you find yourself being consumed by the news, media, or social media? Has it changed your personality or demeanor? Has there been a change in your mental, physical, or emotional health?
What changes can you make to focus less on the media and more on Jesus? What is consuming you more, God, or what is going on in the world? For further study, read and follow Philippians 4:8 to discover what Christians should be meditating on: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.