Everyone can admit that we live in a media-heavy culture. We have entire news channels dedicated not just to news, but just to financial news, sports news, even 24 hours of just weather. Needless to say, there’s a lot of time to do a lot of talking. And through all of this talking, hype resonates…actually it doesn’t just resonate, it explodes.
And in such a ‘big hype’ culture, as wars, diseases, and other stories dominate the headlines, there’s a new spiritual discipline that is becoming more and more necessary for followers of Christ…peace. Yes, peace. It’s so easy to allow the reports, blog posts, Facebook links, Twitter feeds and Instagram pics of Ebola to cause us to go to a very dangerous place spiritually…a place where our entire perspective changes because of a disease…or because of evil in the world…or because of the next major storm that hits the U.S. When we allow this to happen, our faith is no longer our foundation, but we become slaves to the world’s circumstances.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
With this verse in mind, here are a few things to remember when the next disease, war, or catastrophe happens in the world:
- Present the issue to God. I know this sounds really basic, but before you share that link, RT that post, or begin a rant about what’s wrong with the world, our President, our some other global issue, present it to God first. Believe it or not, prayer actually can make a difference. In fact, I would argue that our world needs more prayer warriors than Facebook posters…more people committed to praying for the issues of the world than spreading the news about them.
- How would Jesus have responded to this issue? (or would he have responded at all?) So often we can get worked up about something that Jesus said was going to happen. In Matthew 24:6 Jesus says, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.” If Jesus said it was going to happen, and that we don’t need to be alarmed, than we shouldn’t be alarmed. Respond as Jesus would have responded…love as Jesus would have loved.
- Be part of a solution, don’t become part of the hype. When our actions and words as followers of Christ cause more fear than faith, there’s something wrong. Allow your response to the issues of our world be a reflection of your faith in a never-changing, all-powerful God. If you’re going to do anything, work toward a God-glorifying solution.