Shocking newspaper reports are fearfully common. Today I read of a mother who
drowned her two infants and then threw herself off a bridge. We almost become
used to hearing of people who are at their wits end, desperate, trapped,
hating their circumstances. We don’t envy them.
It would be fair to say that in many cases they have a view of life which has
become badly distorted. It raises the question of how people form their view
of the world they live in.
The media’s influence
All of us
have a personal window through which we obtain our perspective. It is made up
to a large extent, of newspaper and magazine pages, TV and computer screens.
They report happenings from all over, what various people have said about
anything and everything, providing a huge composite picture determining how we
But experience shows us that media reporting is often mistaken, biased,
unbalanced and at times dishonest. Some tabloids traffic in totally bizarre
inventions coming from warped minds and calculated to sell to a wide gullible
Living with the
media’s view of the world is enough to make you sick.
You are left with the feeling that justice is impossible in this world. That
99% of news events are bad. That the innocent are suffering and all the
suffering are innocent. The strong rule the weak and hope for the common herd
is virtually non-existent. No wonder so many have no sparkle in their eye, no
spring in their step, no joy in their heart.
The bad news — then the good news
Of course we must face the fact that we live in a fractured
world and that all is far from well. But remember, there is good news, though
it travels slowly. Let me mention some.
There’s a lot of happiness in our home. There’s a lot of happiness
in our street. There’s a lot of happiness around the world. Needy people
are being helped, sometimes in amazing ways. Lives are saved through medical
technology. Millions are assisted through aid agencies. Children are being
rescued from off the streets, orphans provided for. Blind are being given
sight, diseases tackled and beaten.
Best of all, the spiritually dead and blind (the root cause of all our
troubles) are being shown the truth. The liberating Word of God is heard and
read by countless people every day. Stories can be told of headhunters
becoming men of peace. Drug addicts being set free to love God and other
people. Wives and husbands reconciled through a mutual love for the Lord Jesus
Christ. People who have given up all hope discovering that they are loved,
that there is a way forward, that life is worth living.
The old word ‘Gospel’ means good news. It’s still around and
still works. It concerns Jesus Christ and what He did for us in His
sacrificial death on the cross. It concerns our future and eternal good. No
wonder Paul said “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the
power of God to salvation to everyone who believes”
(Romans 1:16). Read
about it in this paper.