If you want to be a better person in heart, this is one of the most important decisions you should probably take, that is, not to blindly believe what the media reports. Let me tell you why!
What we “hear and see” is definitely gonna affect us!
I have observed many people who are addicted to the news media and their life is driven by it. In fact media controls them. I have learned few interesting lessons from them. In this post, I would like to share few thoughts on this especially in regard to the negative or wrong information spreading around. I agree that media has many advantages and I am not against media. You are reading this post because of one of the advantages of media. But in this post I would like to point out few important things we should consider in this information age. Hope you will take it in the right sense.
Definition of Media
Before I proceed further, let me give you the definition of Media.
Media is a channel through which information comes to you.
It can be WhatsApp, the Newspaper, Magazine, Radio, YouTube, Blogs, News Channels or even some person. Technology has helped media to advance in such a way that within a few seconds any information can be sent to anyone in any part of this globe.
To believe means
to accept that (something) is true, especially without proof OR to accept the statement of (someone) as true [Oxford Dictionary]
Look at the things happening around the world. Many times we are quick to believe what media says. Media does not give a second chance to think. People tend to believe blindly what the media reports! This is extremely dangerous. What we see and hear from media is definitely going to change the way we think and act!
What happened to this couple?
Before getting on to the news and other media around us let me give you an example from the life of a couple.
This couple got married and after one year, the husband went to a foreign country for a job assignment. He used to call his wife often and share everything and their relationship grew closer. He was very faithful to her and she knew him very well. Once or twice every year, the husband comes to his homeland to be with his wife and they were living happily. This went on for many years. One day, one of his so-called friend sent few messages to his wife’s mobile that he was going after some other woman in that foreign land.
Now tell me what the wife was supposed to do?
This is an information which got transferred from another country to her mobile through some technology. I call this, media. Should she believe the media? Based on her belief in that particular information, the destiny of the family is going to be decided. If she believes that information blindly, that family is going to collapse within few moments, especially when her husband calls her next time.
So don’t you think that information has got such power even to destroy a family life?
Now you may be curious to know what happened with this family.
As I know this couple very well, let me tell you what happened. That wife simply decided not to believe that SMS (or that Media) but to trust her husband because she knew that her husband would never do such a thing. She presented this matter before the Lord in prayer. This so-called friend who tried to destroy his friend’s family couldn’t do any harm because of the brave move of this lady. She took a wise step not even to ask him about this matter, which would have affected their relationship in some way or the other. What I learned from this incident is this – DO NOT BLINDLY BELIEVE THE MEDIA!
Now you may think what if the friend said was true? My personal suggestion is this. Do not blindly believe but simply wait and pray! Have faith in God! God is in control when you trust in Him. She should continue being faithful, and even if he was not faithful, he may come back to her later, by seeing her faithfulness. Love and trust has got such tremendous power.
I remember a beautiful proverbs from the Bible
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1
There are lot of complications which can happen because of this simple faith in this media called SMS. Maybe we can discuss issues like this in another post.
Let me come back to our point Do not believe the media. Below are few things to consider.
The first response matters
Don’t quickly share any information in Facebook or YouTube or forward it in WhatsApp groups or in any other mass media. First think about the authentictiy of the matter. If you are not sure of it, please don’t share it with anyone. How can you be sure of an information? It takes time to prove. So better stop spreading wrong information, thus creating chaos in the community. Instead, spread some good thoughts and valuable information. Remember, you can never withdraw a forwarded WhatsApp message or an email sent. So never LIKE or SHARE or COMMENT on it in Facebook or other mass media if you are not sure of that particular information.
Note this Proverbs
He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Proverbs 17:27, 28
Ignore if it doesn’t matter to you much
You might have heard news about a family matter or a corrupt government or some other sensitive news. Do not believe it quickly. Instead try to ignore it if it doesn’t affect you much. Why take all the issues going on in this world to your head? It would be wise to use that time for something creative. Teach your children some good songs, learn a new musical instrument, clean the house, or do something useful instead of switching channels one by one to know all the details of what’s going around.
Are you sure it actually happened?
Some people start commenting as if they witnessed the incident.
Even though we know that media need not be true always, we tend to quickly believe what it reports, isn’t it? Especially news channels and other similar media, when it reports an incident or an issue, we quickly tend to start discussing it with our family and friends as if it were true. It is good to know what’s happening but let us wait before we make a comment because unless you have a valid proof you can never say it’s true.
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23
Do not spoil the mind of your children
If you constantly discuss these matters reported by the media in front of your children, they may soon loose their innocence. You may never know the damage you are causing your future generation. Young minds are very sharp. So set a good example in front of your children.
This is what Jesus told about causing little children to stumble
If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42
Therefore, teach your children to take the good out of media and to ignore what is not important. This way, you can train your children to think positively.
You are responsible for your words
People are so curious to know what really happened and they cannot wait to tell others of what they heard. Especially if it is a negative news, then it spreads more faster. Slowly it becomes a discussion and you start gossiping even without your knowledge. Never gossip about anything to anyone because it it will adversely affect relationships and even destroy the community as a whole.
Let’s remember these words of Jesus
But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matt 12: 36, 37
So let’s use our words wisely as we need to give an explanation for all our words to God one day!
What if it was wrong information?
We never saw what happened. We saw only what the media reported. Media can also go wrong sometimes. Later it will be proved. But if we have already spoken or discussed many things based on that wrong information, it will be too late to revert the damage caused by your words or discussion. So better wait till the truth is revealed.
Do not spoil the reputation
You may have heard something bad about a famous personality. Do not be quick to spread the information around without knowing the actual truth. You are actually destroying their reputation in media. If you are an acceptable person in society, people who are following you will soon believe what you shared because of your reputation. But later when the actual truth is revealed and you come to know that it was a fake information, then your reputation is also spoiled. So why cause a lot of confusion? Better wait and get all the facts right before making a statement about something which you are not sure of.
Let’s remember this words of Jesus,
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the same way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured back to you. Matt 7:1,2
Do not be driven by the information in Media
Since media has lot of influence in our society, they can decide the course of direction of a nation or a community. But atleast we should never allow the media to control our thoughts or our family or our community. I am not sure whether this is possible to be implemented on a national scale, but atleast we can try implementing this in our close circle (our family, friends or community). Let us become a role model for others. Let us not spread the evil from media.
When you change, you can influence your family and your society.
Above all else ‘guard’ your heart
As a child of God, be careful of what you absorb into your mind. Media is good in many ways but also has the power to corrupt innocent minds and hearts.
Therefore as the Bible says,
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
which means, to keep an eye on what we take in. It can change the way we think, the way we speak and ofcourse our course of action. So think twice before believing what the media tells us.
What are the other issues which arises when we blindly believe the media? Please share your opinion in the comments section below.