This week, the World Health Organization issued a rare mental health directive: check the news only twice a day. We all know this without being told, but but few of us do it. It’s true that most of the news seems to be bad right now, but watching too much of it takes a toll: it steals our joy, blunts our hope and kills our peace. It’s important to remember that other things are going on, and that some of these things are too important to miss.
Do you feel like this:
If so, it’s time for a change. It’s tempting to turn on the news (or look at it online) early in the morning to see if we’ve slept through anything, to check a few times during the day to stay updated and to take one last look just before going to bed “just in case.” But then we’re anxious during the day and restless at night.
Fortunately there’s another kind of news, and while the Bible may not seem like “breaking” news, if it makes a change in us then it definitely is! I challenge you to try this experiment: for every minute of news you read or watch today, read the Bible for a minute. If you watch the news for an hour, read the Bible for an hour. (Don’t just flip it open; I recommend starting with the Psalms or the Gospel of John.) If you take in three hours of news, now you’re really in trouble because you’re going to have to read the Bible for three hours and it’s going to be tough on your system to receive so many blessings in such a short time. (Reading a Christian book is also acceptable.)
Paul writes, “Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out” (1 Corinthians 10:13, Good News Bible). Fear is a virus, but the Word of God is an antibiotic. When we are able to center ourselves, we are able to think more clearly, see more clearly, speak more clearly; we see not an absent God, but a God hard at work. Eternal truths such as this are our way out of damaging mindsets. Thank you, God, for giving us this resource; may we find the time to use it, and to claim the power of your Good News. Amen.