News Junkie

Written by Camille Vocker on .

newspaper-2What’s your guilty pleasure? What do you like to do to just unwind? For some, it may be watching a favorite TV show. Others enjoy crafting, reading a book, or baking. For me, I really enjoy the news. Growing up, my dad was in the newspaper business so I’ve always been a bit of a news junkie.

I’ve watched the evening news for as long as I can remember. Then, probably around the time I was in high school, I started watching news specials like Primetime, Dateline, 20/20 and 60 Minutes. But now that I’m a busy mother of a toddler and a preschooler, I get most of my news from the Internet (who has time for TV?). I have just about every news app you can think of on my phone and I regularly browse the headlines online when I’m sitting at the computer. But does all this news make my life any better? That’s what I’ve begun wondering.

I’m not a very fearful person, but there was a recent story in the headlines that really hit me hard. I think I actually became a little depressed because of it. Even though the events were happening half way around the world from me, the heavy media coverage kept the tragedy on the forefront of my mind.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize how upset and heart-sick I’d become until I sat down and opened my Bible to Psalm 42. It starts out with the familiar words from the song As the Deer, but on this day my eyes jumped down verse 5, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” (NLT). I thought: That’s me, Lord! I’M discouraged, I’M sad. But why? Then it hit me. Duh! Because you keep filling your mind with tragic thoughts from the news.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)

pure3So, right then and there, I took out my phone and deleted all those news apps I was telling you about and I made a decision to take a break from watching and reading the news. You might call it a news media fast.

Friends, we’re on a journey this year to “Taste and see that the LORD is good,” (Psalm 34:8, NIV). How can I possibly taste and see God’s goodness when I am so morbidly obsessed with all that is wrong in this world? I can’t. Besides, God doesn’t want me to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders – that’s His job! Instead, He wants me to take refuge in Him (read the second half of Psalm 34:8!!!). Scripture also tells me to focus my mind on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). Now, instead of watching and reading the news, which is primarily about the enemy and all the things he’s doing, I’m choosing to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. I’m sorry ABC, NBC, CBS, and all you other news organizations out there – your content doesn’t make the mark.

You know what happens when you give up the news? Besides improving my mood, I now have about an extra hour in my day to do other things! Some of you know I just bought myself a Kindle Fire (a first for me) and you’ll be happy to hear that I haven’t downloaded a single news app! Instead, I downloaded the YouVersion Bible app and I bought myself a digital copy of The Story. Now that’s Good News worth reading!

What about you? Maybe you aren’t being called to give up the news like I am, but perhaps there are things in your life that you’d be better without. Ask the Lord to show you if there is something that is preventing you from fully tasting His goodness and lay it down at His feet. You’ll be glad you did!

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, thank You that You alone are good. Help me to taste your goodness in my life. Please fill my heart and mind with more of You and less of the world. Amen.