Shock and Awe is a military tactic that involves sudden, overwhelming force intended to paralyze the opponent so they can be conquered. I see that tactic being used in media. Overwhelm us with the dire and drastic so that we feel helpless and willing to accept their solution.
I suppose shock and awe news has always been with us. It sells more ads. But, maybe the number of social media outlets and the speed of reports make it feel like more bad news than ever before. Whether it is real news or fake news, we must sort out for ourselves. Even if it is something we can do nothing about, our blood pressure rises, we feel anger, fear, or disgust. We cannot escape it. Even if we don’t use social media, don’t watch TV, or buy a newspaper, the first person we meet will tell us their take on the latest rants.
We are citizens of America and long-time MM2H visa holders in Malaysia. That doubles the amount of shocking news we can hear in a day!
So how do we, sons and daughters of God and citizens of His kingdom, respond.
Ephesians 1:11 sums up the biblical foundation for our responses. “In Him we were also chosen having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”
Since this world is so broken with sin and its consequences, and God is a good God who has planned the very best for us, I believe God does not cause bad things to happen to us. It is not His perfect will that His children suffer terrible diseases or are hurt in violent ways. It is not His perfect will for us to be abused or tormented by wickedness in our world. BUT, He works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.
The terrible things going on in our world are no surprise to God. He knows the sin that has brought on these consequences. His plan is to redeem us out of this brokenness and establish His kingdom right in the middle of this darkness. His kingdom has been shining for 2000+ years and will shine into the future where He reigns overall.
Romans 8:28 (ESV), “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
God will take any situation in our lives and any situation in the world and work it out. Nothing escapes God’s rule.
So, does that mean we do nothing about the bad stuff going on in our world? No, of course not. We should always begin with prayer. God has many ways to show us our part in bringing His purposes to fulfillment.
God will help us see if there is any root in our lives that makes us more fearful or angry over the news. We may need to forgive past hurts or confess our part in making situations worse.
Wherever we can have influence for good and righteousness and peace, we should act. Sometimes, it is just a word of calm when someone is very fearful about the bad news. Sometimes there is an action we can take to alleviate another’s pain or distress. Sometimes we should take advantage of means available to us to share a word of wisdom to those involved.
Think about this:
Phil. 4:8 (ESV)-“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”