I confess. I can be a bit of a news junkie. It’s not that I find the news all that interesting, but I want to stay informed. But how informed does one need to be? How often do we need to check the headlines? Do we really need to know about the latest UFO sighting, which will be debunked within a week? Do we really need to see the latest celebrity mugshot or the details about which 80s band is making a comeback? In our quest to stay informed and relevant, is our daily intake of information relevant? It’s easy to scroll through nearly endless pages of stories about political candidates, professional athletes and Hollywood hotshots without stopping to think why anyone really needs to know any of it.
To some, the consumption of news has become just another addiction in a society where forms of addiction seem to be multiplying faster than a math major with a calculator. And the next fix is always just a click away. Never has a “drug” been as accessible and affordable as the daily news. But as with every addiction, the next fix has to be bigger, more exciting, and even more outrageous, which explains why the network dealers provide us with so many “Breaking News” alerts throughout the day. In a desperate attempt to keep us hooked, the alerts strike so often that one wonders how our attention might be grabbed by a story that actually is serious. It seems the news agencies are becoming more and more like Aesop’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
As Christians, do we ever stop to do some self-analysis? Do we ever consider that we may be regularly overdosing on distraction and enabling the pushers of daily news? It might be time for a detox.
God comes to us with a daily, even hourly, alternative, which we ignore to our own loss. God’s news we cannot do without. It is relevant, to the point, life-changing, uplifting and profitable (2Ti 3:16). It is always news without the spin (Pro 30:5) and without the depressing headache after consumption. If we digest it properly, it will often indeed be breaking news – His word will break us and we’ll be the better for it. Spending hours being informed by His news will help to make our lives count, or we can sadly spend those same hours overdosing on meaningless and limitless stories about people whose lives are being thrown away.
Much like the grass that withers and the flower that fades, so will much of the daily news evaporate into insignificance. How many headlines (even major ones) from last month can we even remember? “But the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isa 40:8).
So pick up the phone (or paper) less and consume God’s news more. Allow the Bible to be your daily diet of information. There are already a thousand things that can distract us from living a life that’s honoring to the Lord. Don’t allow yourself to become addicted to and distracted by news that doesn’t really matter.