Watching World News is Ministry

How often do you ignore watching or reading the news: the daily tragic rerun of the world’s events? It’s time to look at the news with a new perspective. Here is how to respond to the world’s overwhelming tragedies.

BY PHILL FELTHAM

For the last few years, watching the news has become very difficult: same traumatic news, just a different day with different headlines.

Growing up, I had no interest in the news because it wasn’t movies or music. College was different; as a journalism student, knowledge of politics, world events, and economics was essential to succeeding in the program. Besides, working as a reporter and an editor provided excitement. My attitude was “I have to be ready to report the story—no matter the cost.”

Then, September 11, 2001 happened. Two World Trade Center buildings collapsed in the first week of my second year of college. My excitement to report the story led me to an acquaintance from New York, who was watching the unfolding developments in the school pub. His eyes were glued to the television watching the hijacked planes collide into the World Trade Centre buildings—again, again, and again.

I asked him for a quote, but he shrugged me off. At that point, I felt so guilty for asking such a question. Shortly afterwards, I started questioning my future as a journalist. Did I really care more about the story than the person? At that time, I did.

Fast-forward 10 years. Nowadays, I don’t stay informed on world events. The excitement to report the story has been replaced with a hardened resentment toward the mass media’s disregard to human life. The constant bombardment of negativity overwhelms my emotions, thus leading to righteous and self-righteous anger.

How dare ISIS kill 12 Christians? What is CNN and CBC thinking to glorify such violence? The world competes for my attention with world news, marketing, and other messages; however, I will not subject myself to the negativity that leads me to sin.

Sometimes I say to myself: “You’re a journalist, why bury your head in the sand?” My answer: “I don’t how to deal with the constant bombardment of killing and hurt. It’s just a reminder that we live in a fallen world.”

Recently, my wife and I watched a sermon on encountering Jesus Christ. The pastor challenged our thought process. Instead of responding in judgment, respond in prayer. I found peace with these words.

Now, I am challenging myself to not necessarily become a news junkie, but to keep an open mind. When the opportunity to watch the news presents itself, don’t turn away. Instead of passing judgment, take the opportunity to respond in prayer. Pray for ISIS, that they would come to know Christ. Pray for the families of the 12 executed Christians who will be mourning the deaths of their loved ones. Every prayer counts—particularly in today’s fallen world. iT!

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