Years ago, while helping to lead a children’s outreach with Youth With a Mission, I learned a children’s chorus based on Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV). “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you“
I pray a simple prayer as I watch division exponentially accelerate across the world in just about every spectrum of life. “Dear Lord, help me to be kind.”
I invite you to pray with me.
When we feel marginalized and unheard, please help us be kind to those who try to drown out our voices.
When we feel frightened and confused, please help us to be kind to ourselves and to take the time to rest, spend time with you and pour out our unsettled emotions to you first!
Please help us remember the times when our motivations were misjudged by others, especially when the temptation to judge others is overwhelming.
When we feel we have a biblical reason to disagree with another person’s opinion, please help us to be kind in our response.
When others slander us, keep us from retaliating in kind.
When we are labelled things that we are not, help us to forgive.
It is so easy to post humourous but demeaning memes and unsubstantiated rumours to prove a point. Please help us to remember the simple adage. “Is it kind, is it true, is it necessary?” Give us the self-control and forethought to ask ourselves, “Will this advance God’s kingdom of love?”
A word to my fellow believers
Modern media is not the news media of our past. Sound bytes and news programs are now carefully edited. Politicians representing both the left and the right are victims of news agencies who disagree with their viewpoint. Unbiased news agencies are few and far between. Do not be deceived by thinking that your favourite news source is unbiased.
Christians, we MUST stop being lazy in our research. I urge you to stop relying on articles, videos and blogs that won’t reveal their sources.
Internet news sites of all kinds rely on outside income. Most rely on advertising revenue based on the number of visitors they draw to their website. Thus, there is a strong pull to be as sensational as possible in headlines and video titles.
Speaking of videos, here is a great one, originally posted in 2016 during American election season. It explains the clickbait culture that feeds the machine.
Seek the truth but be aware of your motivation in doing so.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, consider turning off the news. Do you find yourself obsessed with proving your point? Do you spend hours every day going down rabbit trails in the pursuit of the story? Consider asking yourself, “Is this pursuit improving my life, bringing hope to others and making the world a better place? If not, why am I obsessing so much on proving that theory?”
I invite you to take Paul’s advice to Timothy to heart. The early church had its share of speculative obsession. Paul warns the young pastor to avoid such talk.
1 Timothy 1:3-4 (NASB) -“Just as I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, to remain on at Ephesus so that you would instruct certain people not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to useless speculation rather than advance the plan of God, which is by faith, so I urge you now.”
Consider going on a news fast and internet hunt for a few days. Read a good book, watch a wholesome comedy, or go out for coffee with a hope-filled friend. Here is a great verse to meditate upon as you renew your mind this week.
Philippians 4:8 (NASB) – “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Until Next Week
©2022 Katherine Walden
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