No Bad News

“It’s not always your business to pay attention to every controversy or news story. We’re not called to always be in this state of anxiety and to be all worked up. If I’m constantly reading my phone or watching YouTube or whatever I’m missing the real world, I’m missing what is actually out there, and I am being that distracted, I’m not focusing on what the actual call of my life is. If you’re all in a frenzy, you can’t shoot straight. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled,” and I take that seriously. If the news is troubling you in this unproductive way, turn it off!” (Bryce Lungren).

Back in the day, you had the news at certain set hours of the day. You got your local and national news in 30 minute doses. People got the information they needed, no more and no less.

These days, there are a gazillion dedicated news channels that blast news information literally non-stop for 24 hours. There are a gazillion more social media news outlets where the headlines practically scream at you, demanding your attention all the time.

Are we any better for the information overload? Has it made us more civil toward one another? Have we grown to become more mature, more advanced human beings? Or is it that we have more division and anxiety and negativity because of the deluge of news?

John Prine wrote a song where he told us to blow up our TVs, throw away our papers, move to the country, build homes, and plant peaches. That sounds like a better alternative to news channels.

Jesus said to not let your hearts be troubled. In other words, don’t keep feeding your fears. Don’t keep going back to the source of your anxiety. Turn off the TV, put away your social media devices, silence the talk radio, and just be silent and still. Or maybe play some classical music. Or jazz. Or read poetry. Whatever takes you to a place of tranquility.

Perhaps you could pick up God’s Word and ask Him to speak to you in the margins you create by skipping the news. You could use the time to reach out to friends and family to have actual face to face conversations — not about any of the wars or famines or protests, but about life and kids and dreams and faith. Take back your life by turning off the noise.

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