Worry and the Media

I’m not discounting the fact that financial institutions in the US took some foolish risks that put some of them out of business. Or that their demise had a domino effect on the economy. I’m not discounting the fact that unemployment is on the rise even as the stock market continues it’s herky-jerky slide.

But I have to tell you, I think we Christians are allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the media. Haven’t we learned yet that the media thrives most on bad news? Sure, they love the hero story of a pilot successfully bringing down his plane in the Hudson, especially because they were able to get a few pictures.

For a while they even loved a moose-shooting, basketball-playing female governor, too, but then they found out she was a Christian. You see, what the media mostly loves is what fits in with their worldview.

Well, that makes them human, not monsters, but we Christians should not allow ourselves to fall in line with their thinking. Most recently that means worrying about the economy.

I’ve read on blogs by Christians and Christian writer groups questions about the economy, the scary economy. What’s it mean, how is it affecting us, how are we coping? It seems as if we are on the verge of panic.

The thing is, when we look at the world, the facts just aren’t all that bad for US citizens. I don’t have the stats in front of me and I’m not interested in looking them up either, but let’s say unemployment has risen to 10 percent. That means that nine out of ten Americans are working. I know a lot of places that would love to have that kind of number! Others are worried about how much their retirement fund has shrunk, but most people in the world live without knowing what retirement is, let alone a retirement fund.

I recently read in To Fly Again (Tyndale), the book by Gracia Burnham, survivor of a year-long captivity by a terrorist group in the Philippines, that only 25 percent of the people in the world sleep in beds. The other 75 out of a 100 sleep in hammocks or on mats or on the ground.

We Americans don’t have it so tough. And yet, the media has convinced us we should worry.

Worse still is the fact that the Bible explicitly says we should NOT worry. Paul writes, “Be anxious for nothing.” Jesus said, “Do not be anxious, then,” and a little later adds, “Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow.”

But it seems “tomorrow” is exactly what we worry about. Yet the Bible doesn’t stop with the commands not to worry. First, God reveals Himself in the pages of Scripture to be Sovereign. That’s reason enough not to worry.

Second, Paul tells us we have an alternative: “By prayer and supplication, let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus said we are to seek first His kingdom and His righteous and then trust. Well, OK, technically, I added trust. Jesus said “all these things”—food, clothing, the stuff we need to live—would be added. So if I believe Him, isn’t that trust? And if I trust Him, will I still worry?

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm  Comments (5)  
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