Fear Mongering

“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

The Facebook term “news feed,” which describes the constant update of links, posts, videos, and chatter from people and pages we Like,  is an apt summation of how many of us live our mental lives.

Too much information -- true, untrue, and partially true -- inspires a sense of fear and anxiety, hardly useful in anyone's life. Vintage post card image of Paris by Pierre Yves-Petit

Too much information — true, untrue, and partially true — inspires a sense of fear and anxiety, hardly useful in anyone’s life. Vintage post card image of Paris by Pierre Yves-Petit

We consume information.

Doesn’t matter if it’s good information, accurate information, helpful information, interesting information, or disingenuous, fallacious, specious, and spurious information, we eat it up, mentally, all day long as if we were snacking on chips, dip, cookies, fast food, soda pop and Cheese Twisty-Os.

The half-cup of broccoli and filet of salmon that we manage to get down for dinner compete heavily against the bagged, boxed, frozen, vacuum-sealed, and canned prepared food products that, arguably, have little to do with actual food. But we have been trained to think of them all on the identical plane.

In  the same way, much of what we accept as “news” has less to do with imparting actual information as it does the melding and the molding of how we think: there is analysis, commentary, interpretation, and exegesis — all concerning “news” of which we don’t, realistically, know the veracity.

A Harvest of Fear

The result — or fruit — of our passion and fascination for up-to-date enlightenment frequently looks like fear, and whether one listens to the convenient, neatly divided Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative, CNN or Fox, or even hangs onto every word of alternative news gurus or the sputtering, vitriolic radio voices, the general result is that we walk about in a state of concern for the future, anger at injustice, and, most importantly, frustration at our inability to do anything.

(It is a disturbing aspect of many alternative news sites that their primary solution to our escalating world problems of grab and greed is that we 1) prepare for martial law, 2) buy their survival kits, and 3) send them money so that they can keep on sending us updates. But at least they provide a refreshing counteraction to the standardized message of the corporate media, which simply encourages us to keep shopping, register to vote, and tune in at 11 for more of the same.)

Magenta inspirational original oil painting of dancer by Steve Henderson

We , who are so easily lumped into “the masses,” are individual, unique human beings, each created in the image of God. Remember that, when you’re lumped into the group. Magenta, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

If we allow ourselves to be — by opening our ears to all the voices that are available to us via mass media (is anyone else out there offended by the entertainment and corporate world’s lumping of billions of unique, precious, individual people into “the masses”?) — we are assaulted by more information, mis-information, and disinformation than we can possibly handle.

And whether we use 10 percent of our brain or 75 percent, in concordance with what number pop-science decides upon today, commonsense tells us ordinary, non-brilliant sorts that there is only so much material that can go swimming around in there.

When our thoughts are focused on the ever-morphing news that has a two-day shelf life (what happened with Ebola, by the way? Are the Cupcake Wars over between the Christian bakeries and gay marriage community? And what’s Bruce/Caitlyn up to these days?) we have little room to reflect upon important things, and for Christians, important things have to do with God: His nature, His words, His promises, His reassurances, His love. Reflecting upon God is the path to truth. When we recognize truth, we more easily spot the lies.

A 30-minute small group Bible study, once a week, doesn’t suffice for chasing out the buzz on our news feed, and indeed, if our brains were Facebook (thank God they’re not), deep, meditative, healing thoughts about God might not even make it on the feed. There’s too much other stuff.

Take a break from it all — the “news” will still be there when you get back — but for a week, or just a day if that’s all you can manage — walk away from social media, turn off the TV, quit obsessing on your phone, set the magazine aside, and just give your brain a break.

Don’t turn it into a spiritual thing — a self-imposed law which you will inevitably break, and thereby manufacture into a failure of sin — but consider it a rest, a reprieve, a respite, a Sabbath, if you will.

In seeking the Kingdom of God, by ignoring, for awhile, the dissonant voices of men, we breathe the air of freedom.

Thank You

Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes, where I encourage all Christians to seek — most ardently and with enthusiasm — the Kingdom of God. I have a feeling that, when our feet are planted firmly within, the things of this world won’t freak us out so much.

Posts complementing this one are

Your Vote Is Worth Less Than Your Prayer

Three “Christian” Teachings That Jesus Didn’t Teach

Does Jesus Get Mad When We Complain?

This article is linked to Sincerely Paula, Think Tank, Domestiblissity, Favorite Things, Simple Homestead, Thoughtful Thursday, Shine On, Hearts for Home, Shine, Grandma’s Ideas, Pat and Candy, This Is How I Roll, Wholehearted Home, Wake Up Wednesday, While I’m Waiting, Happy Home, A Little R and R, Intention, The Mom Club, A Wise Woman, Homemaking, Jennifer Dawn, Tip Tuesday, Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Share It, Tuesdays at Our Home, Terrific Tuesday, Tuesday Talk, Tips and Tricks, Turn It up Tuesday, Moms the Word, Strangers and Pilgrims, Titus 2, Meandering Mondays, Blog Booster, Learning from Each Other, Rebecca, Friday Fun, Friday Flash Blog, Pretty Pintastic, Grace and Truth, Freedom Friday, Awesome, Funtastic Friday,

About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
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9 Responses to Fear Mongering

  1. Charlie says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful look into the lives of our minds and for the reminder to focus our attentions.

    • You are welcome. I think about how we are to love God with our hearts, souls, bodies, and MINDS, and we tend to eclipse that one. And yet, what is in our minds, is so much of what we are . . .

  2. We decided to stop receiving any TV channel because of this brainwash people go through every day. We are beautiful and blessed, but it’s necessary to move away from fear to realize it.
    Thanks for joining #tiptuesday.

    • Debbie — brainwashing is an accurate word to use. People said that years ago, and they were lambasted (by whom, one wonders) as being religious, fanatic nuts. But then you have to look at what’s really going on: People sit, passive, in front of a box that is emanating whatever waves TV emanates, and it’s been shown that their metabolism actually goes down to a lower than normal resting state. Their eyes glaze over. They just . . . mentally feed on what they’re given.

      On the outside, looking in, they look like they’re in a trance. What a great state to be receptive to the subtlest, or most overt, messages. Yep, it sounds nutty — but it’s even nuttier to live in a society that tells people they’re too fat because they’re not moving, and in the next breath, encourages them to sit for hours each day (those poor public school children!), listen to what they’re told, and have another chip.

  3. This is good food for thought that you have bought to the party. I like your statement – When we recognize truth, we more easily spot the lies. So true.
    Thanks so much, Kathleen
    Fridays Blog Booster Party #28

  4. I recently wrote about how I have anxiety. I feared writing it for judgment’s sake – I worried that people would belittle my faith because I’m not healed and because I have a mental illness. However, I felt prompted by God that He wants me to share my imperfect nature. Anyway, your post made me rehash what I shared… I don’t consume the news or newsfeeds. It drive the anxiety through the roof and fills me with fear and sickening dread.

    There is a lot of fear out there… and the media feeds on it. “Perfect love casts out all fear”… I cling to that.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

    • Ah, Jennifer — how people so quickly judge one another! I used to think it was a mis-reading when Christ talked about the beam in our own eyes, and the dust in our brother’s, but He was really trying to drive home the point: we all hurt, we all have faults, we all really, really need to love one another through giving the understanding that we wish others would give to us.

      I’m glad that you wrote about your challenges, at God’s prompting, and were able to help others who cry inside and feel that they are alone in doing so.

  5. Pingback: How Influential Is the Christian Vote? | This Woman Writes by Carolyn Henderson

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