It’s called click bait. Headlines like “Breaking News”. Terms like, “You won’t believe what (insert controversial person of the day) said…” Colorful adjectives like “Destroyed”, “Shredded”, “toppled”. Polarizing descriptors similar to: “And no one cared…” or “It blew everyone away”.
We see this a lot now. Media meisters are preying on some people’s inability to separate fact from heavily loaded emotional appeal. If you have fallen victim to this strategy, you already know why I use the term victim. The headline sounds like something the entire planet should be up in arms over, but the actual meat of the article is trivial at best, and often a far stretch, even to be trivial.
So why does this work? Why do we (collectively as humans) fall for it? I’m going to say its because we live in fear. When we hear those tagged words, they trigger our deepest concerns. “what now?!” we wonder, and some of us cry it out as we can’t handle any more. We know deep down that anything can happen, and we often play along and assume it just did.
Consider this. We serve a God who does not fear. He does not wake up in the world and have to search to see what horrible things happened while we slept. He is not shocked by the disasters and He is not paralyzed by the sickness of man. And this is who hears our prayers. I’m comforted to know that our Lord does not need the news to keep up. He loves us, each one, and is very interested in our lives.
I’m also happy to know that God loves us all. So we don’t have to worry about our shapes, sizes, colors, accents, personal preferences, or birth marks to know whether He cares or not. I think God’s news feed would throw out all of the nonessential buzz words and cut right to the chase:
“You are hurting… I am here”
“You are lonely… I am love”
“You are abandoned… I am Father and Brother”
“You are accused… I am justifier”
“You have sinned… I wash dirt off feet and darkness off souls”
“You are tired… I am rest”
“You are overburdened… I carry your cross”
“You are un-salvageable… I am salvation”
There is a reason the Gospel is called “The Good News!”. Oh how it stands apart from what we think news is today. Can I encourage you to share the good news today? To ignore the bad. To resist the temptation to spread the lies and the bait. It’s really not a call to do or not do anything… its an issue of focus. What gets your attention? “Click Me, I’ve got some juicy stuff!!!!!”, Or, “Let me show you what it means to love unconditionally”.