Most people that I know watch the local news at least one time per day. I know some people who watch the local news twice or more per day and some people have CNN on all day. As followers of Jesus Christ, I believe that it is important that we stay in tune with current events in our neighborhoods and in our world. News programming is one way that we can do that. However, I also believe that we need to use wisdom concerning how much News we are watching and what kind of news we are watching.
This month I would like to give you a few things to think about concerning your NEWS choices. They are the following:
1.) DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE OR HEAR.
Many of today's TV reporters and anchor people are very talented and intelligent professionals. However, that doesn't mean that we should trust everything that comes out of their mouth. In fact, my personal opinion is that most of today's media information sources are very liberal in their views. I don't believe that they represent the views of many Americans, conservatives and certainly not committed followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. If something that you hear doesn't sound right or feel right (sometimes the Holy Spirit will give you a nudge), make sure you investigate the facts more thoroughly. With today's internet access there are plenty of information sources available; which brings us to our next point.
2.) SUPPLEMENT YOUR SECULAR NEWS SOURCES WITH ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
I'm not one to advocate 'only' watching or listening to Christian information sources, but I do believe that all of our thinking processes should be filtered through the Word of God. Romans 12:2 exhorts us to 'Not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind.' As we seek to be knowledgeable concerning our culture and current events we want to make sure that we are seeing things with 'the mind of Christ' through God's perspective. There are many terrific radio and TV broadcasts that share today's News from a biblical perspective. A few that come to my mind are Focus on the Family, American Family Association and CBN. I don't
always agree with all of their perspectives but I believe that all 3 of these organizations are presenting today's current events from a Biblical worldview and in a professional manner.
3.) CHOOSE YOUR LOCAL NEWS STATIONS WISELY
I believe that some News stations are better than others in terms of what they share and how they share it. We have basically 4 local News stations in the Cleveland, Ohio area. I've sat down with a note pad and recorded the amount of bad news that they share and the amount of good news that they share. I came up with the conclusion that 2 of those stations tend to be more positive and uplifting delivering there News. The other 2 tend to present more bad News and their delivery of the news is presented in a way that is more entertaining and opinionated than informative. I'm not advocating 'sticking our heads in the sand' when it comes to bad news. However, I'm also not interested in being overly exposed to the horrible events of the day or week. Try to find a broadcast that has a good balance in there News content and a fair and professional approach to their delivery of that News.
4.) MAKE SURE YOU'RE SPENDING MORE TIME MEDITATING ON THE 'GOOD NEWS' THAN THE 'BAD NEWS'
No matter what News broadcasts you watch, there usually is a fair amount of bad News in their content. In fact, sometimes I have gotten so depressed watching the News that I have had to shut it off. Things can seem pretty bleak if you start to forget about Jesus Christ our 'hope of Glory'. This is why it's SO IMPORTANT to balance your time watching the News with ample time reading your Bible. We certainly don't want to only read our Bibles and ignore current events in our culture. But, we also don't want to be saturated with bad news that is not filtered through the awesome promises of God's word and the wonderful truth of God's sovereignty in this world. Only the bible can strengthen our hearts and minds with these truths.
I would like to end this month's media thought with a couple of challenges. If you are in the habit of watching your local 6:00P.M news and the 11:00P.M. News, why not substitute one of those time slots with the reading of God's Word. You will be substituting a fair amount of bad News with the Good News that lasts forever! Secondly, try not to fall asleep watching the news. Sleep therapists say that our minds will often times consciously or unconsciously dwell on the last things that we have thought about in our day. I personally try to make the Word or God the 'key' that unlocks and locks each day of my life. I try to begin my day in the Scriptures and end my day reading the Scriptures. I have found both of these disciplines have had a very positive effect in my Christian growth. Remember, in most areas of our lives the key to success is often times having a healthy balance. I pray that God will help you to have that balance in your life as you seek to please Him with your media choices.