mired in darkness

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life.

John [8:12]

On a day when the number of new COVID-19 cases had dropped by fifteen percent for the third day in a row, all I read and saw was frightening headlines. Headlines that promoted danger and reminded us to be fearful. The major newspapers ran headlines that said deaths hit an all-time high on that day. Yet missing from the article was the erroneous inclusion of deaths on that day of missed reporting from January to March.  Simple fact-checking would have revealed the error.

Our news reporting on the national level has become so obviously biased, it is promoting division among the populace. Short of facts and long on agenda, our television has moved from unbiased reporting to opinion-based reporting. Missing are the real facts and news.

In every report, we hear about the risks without the solutions. It seems as if people are setting themselves up to say; I told you so! When we listen or read the news we only get problems, which promotes fear.

In John [8:12], Jesus tells us He is the light of the world. And that those who follow Him will no longer walk in darkness. It is not that following Jesus will make us problem-free, rather Jesus reorients us to think about how to live with hope. People that only give you problems without solutions only create fear. People who see problems and think through the solutions provide hope. They give us the light of encouragement.

In my business life, you couldn’t come to my office with a problem that didn’t contain a solution. Otherwise, we considered the act of just identifying problems as dark behavior. Almost like a hit and run.

Successful Christians, businesses, and people are solution-oriented. Not looking to make things worse by creating fear, but making things better by working the problem.

This is what Jesus is talking about when He says I am the light of the world. And this is what Jesus wants from us; to walk in the light and not in darkness. Jesus wants us to find hope through problem-solving and not fear.

Jesus doesn’t want us to report numbers in the press just to create fear. But to dig deeper and look for hope with a solution. Jesus doesn’t want us to intentionally edit remarks by others to promote our agenda, rather be balanced in our views. Jesus doesn’t want us to look at a small piece of information and make it larger, so we create more fear, rather Jesus wants us to be objective.

The media believes that this negative and fearful reporting will help their business, nothing could be further from the truth. In the all-important 25-54 age group, the combined audience of CNN, MSNBC, and Fox are all seeing drops in viewership of over twenty percent. In fact, if you add up all three, their audience doesn’t achieve one million viewers. A far cry from the lofty numbers of years gone by.

What they are missing is Americans want the truth. Americans want light and not darkness. They are missing that hope sells. They are missing that there is always a solution to every problem.

Thin thinking has led us to this point. Critical thinking will lead us out. It is way too easy to just tell the bad, but far harder to critically think about a solution.

Americans are not dumb they know this difference between thin and critical thinking. Americans are not sheep, rather they are sheepdogs. Give Americans a goal and they will achieve it. Only give Americans problems and they will tune you out. And the numbers don’t lie, Americans are tuning out.

Imagine if those reporting the problem thought first; what would Jesus want us to report? Certainly, the agenda would disappear. Certainly, a harder look at the facts would occur. Certainly, solutions would be revealed. We all know Jesus wouldn’t approve of craftily edited sound bites that don’t reveal the truth.

John Krasinski, from The Office and Jack Ryan, recently set up a YouTube channel called Some Good News. His viewership is over two million people. And he just started! There is a message here about how people want the news. Not overly optimistic, but the real facts.

I can see Jesus sitting back and saying; Well you did a great job at identifying the problem. Now what is the solution and where is there hope. We all know Jesus wouldn’t allow only the darkness to be reported. We all know Jesus would only want the facts and messages of hope.

This is true in our own lives; problems will always appear. Jesus wants us to seek the Light and not darkness.

Listen to the Full Podcast – Avoiding Being Mired by Darkness

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Anthony Bouzalas on Unsplash