No Time For The News

My sister and I were headed on a seven-hour trip home with the radio, empty stomachs, and no energy. Exams had ended, and my brain was fried, but I had to stay awake, and I had to listen. She was talking about Syria, and I had no reference point for the country or what was going on. All I knew was that people had been changing their profile pictures to support France, and that my cousin and friend in Paris had been in danger. Both were safe, but something called ISIS was still out there. And what continent was Syria in?

As soon as we got home, I signed up to receive emails from theSkimm, a Monday through Friday news source.

Fast-forward, and over a year’s worth of news articles, here I am today. Now Jenny and I can have a very intelligent conversation about what is going on in Syria and around the world. 

I never thought I had time to read the news. And perhaps I didn’t. I live life in ever-forward motion. College leads from one obstacle straight into another. When one paper is done, an exam pops up, or it’s that one friend’s birthday and they have to go to Mojo’s. 

Well, if my education meant anything to me, I realized that I needed to read about the real world, so that I could apply my education. Thus I read the news. 

Daily, theSkimm comes into my gmail. I may not always read it on time, but I read it. TheSkimm is one reliable news source that reads other news sources, condenses their stories, and tells you the most important happenings in the world. 

TheSkimm is not the only news source that I read anymore, but it was a great launching pad which introduced and explained to me what was happening in the world. Plus, it’s really short and includes links to articles by other news sources which can give more in-depth information about a topic. 

So, am I recommending you to read the news? Yes. Am I recommending you to read theSkimm? Yes. But what gives me ground to recommend reading the news?

Well, the craziness of what is happening right now and people’s reactions are two reasons, but these reasons are not enough if not paired with a Biblical framework. 

And the Bible tells us that our God is Truth and that all other truth is good and important because it is rooted in his character. Therefore, we are called to know and love truth. Moreover, we are called to act upon the truths that we know. When Jesus walked upon the earth, he went about telling everyone the truths of his kingdom and truths about this world. He did so in order that his people could understand their place in his kingdom and how Christianity applies to real life situations. 

No, Jesus did not tell anyone to turn against Caesar, but he told them to pay their taxes to Caesar. Elsewhere in the Bible, we are told to live as good citizens, but as citizens who are in this world but of another. We are a people who live here now, but our main allegiance is in Christ. 

There is a balance to everything. In all that we read or do not read of the news, we are called to pray. We must give this world into the Lord’s hands, for it is his. We are his agents at work in the world, but reading the news will not be helpful to us if we do not realize that he is the source who can change it all.

Please understand me, I am not condemning you if you do not read the news. It took me twenty years to read the news, but I can tell you that reading the news is transformative to understanding the world and our agency in it.