We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Media companies have worked hard for the last decade to make sure bad news is more accessible to us than ever before. The reasoning is simple – bad news sells! Panic sells! Check out the “Trending” section on Twitter or Facebook every once in awhile.
It no longer takes turning the television on to Channel 12 News, or even reading the newspaper to find out what’s going on. Worse yet, the platforms they have chosen are the ones that permeate our social lives.
At least when we read the newspaper or watch the news, we are in a “prepared mindset” – our brains have somewhat formed an expectation of what they will see, and have an easier time processing the information and reacting to it. It’s less emotional.y
However, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been historically focused towards social activities, but no longer – the lines are becoming more blurry each and every day.
So now, when our brain is preparing to engage in what it thinks is an emotional, social interaction, it sees something that is more informational and doesn’t know how to react. If you’ve ever gotten in a political fight on Facebook, this is why. You are responding emotionally to something that is merely informational, and you end up taking it out on, sometimes, the people you love.
So what does that mean? It means we are going to have to become more intentional than ever about what we do, how we react, and what we allow into our homes. I am NOT saying to forego or forfeit your opinion. I realize that there are some very emotional things that make their way into the news.
I am simply advocating for more intentionality and better preparation when it comes to the decisions you make about the content you read – especially due to its new-found accessibility.
Briefly, I want to give you just 3 reasons why I believe the solution to this issue is to spend more time in the Bible than in the news (or social media for that matter).
Reason #1: The Bible is the most authoritative news publication platform to have ever been.
When I first moved to North Carolina, I noticed a pattern with all of the local news authorities. For whatever reason, the weather broadcasters in the area NEVER got it right. If it was supposed to snow, you could plan to wear shorts and be just fine. I later found out that it is most likely because where I lived at the time was right at the foot of the blue ridge mountain range, and that apparently makes it much harder to predict.
Did you know that the Bible has – not once, ever – been wrong? This is a big problem for atheists and scientists who believe they are smarter than God. Most will agree that many things that happen could possibly be explained away.
Modern day science makes a new discovery every day in an attempt to explain away some truth that we have known for years, but there are TWO things that have never been, and will never be explained away – simply because they cannot be.
- The change. No one has ever been able to quantify, measure, explain away or comprehend the change in a man’s life when Christ enters. Last year, a man in our church who had just accepted the call to preach gave his first sermon ever. He is an older man, probably in his very late 50’s or early 60’s. This still isn’t very significant until you realize that 4 years ago, this man sold $5000 worth of drugs a week and personally used over $300 worth every DAY – and had been on that path for over 42 years. Christ was the only difference. No psychologist can explain it (though they may try), and they will never will.
- The proof. To date, over 2000 of the 2500 or so prophecies mentioned throughout the pages of Scripture have come to pass – no errors, no fault, no sketchy stories – pure history. Not ONE prophecy has ever gone past the time it was to occur and been missed. That means we have more to look forward to! The point is this: that cannot be explained. You cannot explain that many prophecies being fulfilled EXACTLY how they say they would be thousands of years earlier. I’ve made the statement before that if it wasn’t for the fact that this Book is the Bible, modern man would be doing everything they could to get their hands on it and learn its truth. The problem they have is with God.
I told you that to tell you this:
If you see it in the pages of Scripture, go ahead and mark it down as Truth. Much of what you see on the news headlines can be found right now within the pages of the Word (read Matthew 24 if you don’t believe me). Trust the Source that you know to be true, rather the one flooded with everyone’s opinions.
By the way, that goes for spiritual opinions as well. I’d invite you to check everything I say against Scripture for yourself. My aim is to magnify His Word, but you MUST know it for yourself. Jesus defeated Satan with “It Is Written!”, not, “My BFF on FB said…”.
Reason #2: The Bible tells the whole truth – the bad news, and the good.
Have you noticed that good news just isn’t in style anymore? What’s worse, the world considers things to be good news that Christians hate! Not in some legalistic and judgmental way, but the world celebrates things that the Bible teaches against, making it even more depressing to be involved in the banter.
Fear and panic are what trigger emotions and the media companies (and your politically motivated friends) know that. Unfortunately, we are often labeled as fear mongers because sometimes, the truth is scary! My not wanting to go to hell is definitely born out of fear – because hell is scary! It’s where the worm dieth not, and you can’t even get a hold of a DROP of water…there’s pretty good reason to be scared of that.
See the difference is there’s a flip side to our coin. Right after we talk about hell, we get to talk about the free gift of eternal life in heaven with our Savior. Not so for what is fed to the American people every day!
We’re on a collision course with a terrible future and there’s nothing that can be done about it – that’s the position they take. Here’s where I stand: as long as there is breath in my body to tell someone about Jesus, it’s a good day! Don’t fret about what’s coming – rejoice in the “glory to be revealed.”
Reason #3: The Bible always gives the solution to a problem; it never tells you what’s wrong and invokes opinionated discussion.
Finally, I have noticed some very open ended questions being posted by the news media lately. Much like I do at the end of these posts, they go ahead and invite discussion. The problem is, discussion on Facebook, where people say things to each that they would not dare say in person, is pretty unhealthy. It has opened the floor for a new version of dialogue that we’ve never had before.
They take advantage by reporting on some terrible bit of news, and then ask us to “talk amongst ourselves about it.” When that happens, the floodgate is opened for those emotional responses, and the gloves are off! The sad thing is that I only ever see two responses from Christians:
- They promote hate and tell everybody they’re going to hell in a handbasket and never offer a solution or,
- They try their best to insert the love of Christ into the conversation and are shot down by EVERYONE!
I had rather read the Bible where I know what to expect, can read the end of the Book anytime I want to, and the only conversation I have to have is with God Himself. How great is that? In those times, watch and see if God does not give you peace. He will comfort you and reveal things about His plan if you’ll just seek Him.
Let me leave you with a few practical things you can do to spend more time in the Bible and less in the news:
- Start the day with reading the Bible. This will get you in the right mindset from the get-go.
- Delete the Facebook/Twitter apps from your phone. You can still check them on the web, but you won’t be tempted to look at them instinctively to pass time.
- Refrain from entering unhealthy conversations on Facebook/Twitter. They are damaging to your testimony, especially if you are trying to make a point.
- Make Bible study more convenient. Nothing wrong with this! Use a podcast or an audio Bible to do your daily reading. The easier it is to access the Bible, the less “need” you have for easy information elsewhere.
- Structure your Bible reading. Get on a “one year” or another comparable plan to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon.