If you’re a news junkie like me, you probably find at least one story a day that is so outrageous it makes your blood boil – for a second or two – until you read the next outrageous story and completely forget the initial outrage because you are so outraged at the moment.
Of course, creating outrage is a good business model for most news outlets since it increases sales and page visits.
But what’s good for the media is not necessarily good for our souls. If we’re not careful, we can become an emotional outrage collector. Over time this can eat away at our spiritual well being and give us a jaded world view.
Here are a couple of coping mechanisms that I’ve discovered can help empty the emotional trash bin of media induced negativity.
First, meditate in God’s word to get an eternal perspective. We have at our disposal the means to replace outrage with inner peace. Remember what Jesus said. The world is a creator of outrage, but he has overcome the world. Because of His victory, we can experience peace (John 16:33)
Second, realize that yesterday’s outrage will fade into the immediate rage which will be replaced by tomorrows brewing indignation . Can you even remember the headline or news story that got you so upset two days ago, or even yesterday?
I did a little exercise to test my theory of our ever decreasing outrage tolerance. I went to the library and looked at the front page headlines for USA today for the previous 30 days.
Here is a brief sampling of some of the outrage of the last month or so….
August 14: 12 Firefighters among 50 dead in China Explosions
August 17: Indonesian Airline Carrying 54 People Crashes
August 20: Prison For Subway’s Jared
August 25: 1,000-Point Sell-Off Rocks Stock Market
August 26: 2,000 Year-Old Temple Razed
August 27: Cold Blooded Murders on Live TV
August 28: Europe Facing Biggest Migrant Crisis Since WW2
September 2: Chilling – Fourth Cop Slain in 9 Days
I could of course go on and on cataloging the daily outrage. My point? I’d wager you’ve forgotten these outrages and only now recall them because I reminded you.
Finally, use the daily outrage as a platform for prayer. Allow the Holy Spirit to turn your indignation into intercession. Pray for the families of the brutalized, the innocent victims of catastrophes and the salvation of the outrage perpetrators.
It is fine – a good thing really – to be informed. But it is even better to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in the Word of God.