Bad news can get out of hand. We can get a little addicted to it. Life has plenty of it and yet we always come back for a little more. In the last month it seems it has come as an avalanche. Perhaps we finally have more than we want now, but it is here in the extreme.
Still, I have learned an embarrassing lesson of late. At least three or four fake stories have come along among all the horrific stories out there and I have fallen for them like a careless novice. I should know better and that news stories are best verified before being believed or repeated. I’ve kept up with news all my life and have striven to not be naive. Somehow I have made what seems like rookie mistakes.
I suspect part of is that there has never been a month like the one we have just gone through and being shocked became a daily occurrence. Does that sound like an excuse? It is, even if it is true. I think a more accurate reason was my getting carried away with following these stories, yet lazily getting many of then from my Facebook news feed. Not all news stories on Facebook are created equal– no matter if they were shared by someone you respect (others can be fooled too), or if they come from what sounds like a conservative news source.
So I have scolded myself. I remember now than con artists will even try to sound like a reputable news source. Other sites hold to conservative principles but as “hits” are the name of the game in the internet world, they give way to sensationalism. Wouldn’t you agree that there is enough bad news in the world that we need not add to it by falling for fake stories? Wouldn’t you also agree that exercising caution in passing along accurate information even if hitting the “share” button is so easy is also in order?
So what has this to do with this Truth Revolution series? I mean beyond the obvious “truth”?
We have been so careless with what we do with bad news in our Christian circles. We are careless about making sure a story is true. If it is about someone failing, and so many fail, it must be true, right? Especially if they don’t agree with us on some little pet issue?
We repeat stories too. At least some of the stories in current news, were they true, could affect our lives. In Christian circles we often pass along junk that will never affect our lives personally. But bad news is such deliciously good conversation, isn’t it?
I scolded myself, as I said, over falling for a few political news stories where I should have known better. I wonder if it is time that we all scold ourselves over stories among Christians too. What do you think?
Find all articles in the series here.
7 thoughts on “The Priority of Bad News (IBTR #72)”
Le 19:16 ’You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.
Pr 11:13 A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
Pr 18:8 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.
Pr 20:19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.
Pr 26:20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
Pr 26:22 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.
The Bible is for sure not silent on this subject! Thanks!
Yes! This is a subject that has concerned me, because if people cannot trust Christians to pass along true information, then why should they believe anything we say? Along with the proverbs that ‘melodyjoyellis’ listed, Jesus included the commandment concerning bearing false witness, when talking with the rich young ruler. When we pass along misinformation, we are essentially bearing false witness. Although checking some facts may be laborious, checking snopes.com for others is pretty simple. So glad you addressed this topic!
Thanks! You are right that Jesus addressed it too! Bearing false witness, as you say, is ultimately the issue.
I think you’d do your readers a service if you shared at least the more egregious fake news articles that you fell for. Who knows how many others have fallen for the false.
I would have to go look them up as I tried to forget them after I felt the fool!
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