I really believe that no matter what stressful or hateful situations happen outside the home, inside should be a haven for my family. The constant upheaval in America and other places across the globe threatens that haven of comfort. Living in the age of instant news via social media, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the burden of sadness around us.
I want to encourage people to think for themselves, so I try very hard not to talk about politics in this space. However, I want to share some encouragement regarding how we should respond to the flood of both news and opinion that we receive every day. What should we do when the news is too much to handle? How can we continue to create a place of comfort for our families?
Make sure you’re getting the facts, and that you’re getting them from actual news sources. Facebook should not be your only source for news. Personally, I follow our local news on Twitter (particularly one anchor that has a good track record). When I hear that there’s been a shooting, a natural disaster or some other kind of breaking news, I check her feed for the what/when/where of the facts.
I enjoy talk radio, so I tune in to conservative talk shows during my daily commute. I get the top of the hour news stories and then listen to what the talk show hosts have to say about what’s going on. I appreciate shows that host conservative authors and politicians who can shed more light on a situation than I’m able to with my personal experience.
Finally, I always discuss current events with people who are smarter than me. My husband is at the very top of my consultant list – that was a deal-breaker when we were dating, and Paul passed the test! He shares my world view and is a critical thinker who can help me see if I’m overreacting to something. I also like to bounce things off my dad because he is well read and has followed American politics and news very closely all his life. He can give great context to things that happen. (I’m not saying you’re old, Dad. 🙂 )
If it sounds like I spend a lot of time listening to the news – I don’t. When something makes me mad or anxious, Paul and I discuss it and then make a conscious choice to end the conversation and move on to something else. It is very easy to let bad news consume you – when there is a shooting or something of that nature, that’s all you see on social media. Once I get the facts, I make myself get off social media and I focus on something else.
We cannot obsess over things that are out of our control. If you’re reading every Facebook post and every comment on those posts, you’re obsessing. Facebook is not where life happens. I read a blog post where a woman said she read through social media posts after a recent shooting and found herself sitting at the counter with tears dripping off her chin. If that happens to you, it’s time to get off the computer and look away.
Terrorists want to interrupt and destroy our way of life. We can carry on when tragedy strikes. We can be respectful, honor the fallen and still carry on with life.
I am very disheartened about the state of things in America. I love this country, I love the things it was founded on, and I honor the brave ones who have given their lives over the centuries for those things. It’s very easy for me to get majorly bent out of shape after reading the news (or just scrolling my Facebook news feed). When that happens, I have to stop looking around me and instead, I have to look up. There are several passages of Scripture that put things into perspective and calm my heart. Here are a few of them:
2 Samuel 10:12 “Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
Hebrews 10:37-38 “For,“Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith.”
Things on this earth are frightening and sad, but isn’t it good to know that God is in control and that this life is not all there is? We have hope because of Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can heal this hurting world. Look up – look to Jesus – instead of around at the sadness and destruction.