One of the most divisive issues in America is whether or not to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the news. Sure, abortion, gay marriage & Obamacare are big ones…but what about the judgmental attitude some of us have toward those who avoid the news altogether and drink up The Bachelor like cold water on a hot day?
Most of us have been in conversations over the years where this came up. One side says something like, “I used to watch the news, but everything is so depressing.” If someone responds at all, it may sound something like, “You can’t just bury your head in the sand! This stuff is real! You’re just living in a world of fiction; and you’ll never make a difference in the world!”
Allow me to jump in and make enemies on both sides. (It’s a gift of mine.)
To my friends who love reality TV: There are very real things in this world that break God’s heart. You are His hands and feet; so do something with your life.
To my friends who are news junkies: You are not the Messiah. You cannot wipe away every tear. Work hard for the orphan, the widow & the foreigner, but understand that the ultimate solution is in Christ alone. Only He forgives sin, and only He can end all injustice.
Some of us find ourselves in a tough spot in-between: we switch channels away from the starving Ugandan child or the fighting in Israel because to become emotionally invested seems masochistic when I can’t do anything to fix the problem.
If you are skimming this post, please go back to my last sentence.
My proposed solution: How about church leaders lead? How about breaking down huge problems into smaller, bite-sized tasks to glory of God?
Can I end abortion? No. Could my pastors encourage my wife and me to go be trained to be adoptive parents so that one day we can say to a 15-year old girl, “We will raise your baby?” Yes.
Can I end multi-generational poverty? No. Could my church engage relationally with high school students; inviting them into our adult small groups, or maybe just do a great job of staffing our student ministry events? Yes. Young people will go out into the world repeating what they know. What if a student is in your house the first time he hears a man apologize to a woman? What if he watches you fight with your wife, and is quietly amazed that you did not scream at her, threaten her, or worse? Can our churches help us live in relationship with young people? Of course.
Lord, light a fire in our congregations! Spirit move until we cry out, “God, I want to care, and now I can!”