I’ve decided the best way to temporarily treat my temper is to temper the television and totally take in truth instead. I need to take time for my temperament.
“Fake TV” has political implications, but, let’s face it: TV has more fake than fact these days.
Let’s take the Monday morning news as Example A.
One hour of Tabloid TV
The coronavirus has spread to Italy, and, sadly, there have been two related deaths. The morning news showed an empty store shelf, a person wearing a mask, and a check station at the border.
The coronavirus is, without a doubt, scary. But, did the media accurately reflect Italy’s reaction? Are people truly in a state of panic, or did most of the Italian population get up this morning and go to work as usual? Is the coronavirus an apocalyptic threat or just this year’s dangerous virus?
If the television is the only news, we should all be moving to a cave in Colorado to avoid the impending dangers and doom of the virus.
JLo (a.k.a. Jennifer Lopez) has issued a “bikini challenge,” which is going viral. Apparently, we are all supposed to take selfies while wearing a bathing suit and then post them on social media. This is supposed to make us feel better about ourselves.
JLo looks good in a bikini, and she should be proud. That said, is that really what should make her feel great about herself? She is working hard to look good for her upcoming wedding. But there is more to the story. This will be JLo’s fourth wedding. The other three didn’t work out too well. Yet, the morning news raved over the positive message that her “bikini challenge” was having on the internet.
Donald Trump drew large crowds in India. The news anchor issued the report in front of gigantic images of Joe Biden that had been erected near the stadium. Again, this isn’t a political message. I just think we need to be aware of the fact that if people only watch TV for their news, they are missing a lot of truth.
And it was reported that the entire cast of the show Friends has been signed to do a one-hour reunion program. Each cast member will be paid in excess of $2.5 million. The reporter was giddy at the prospect of watching that show, which will need to be streamed/paid for by viewers. Because, after all, $2.5 million for each actor has to come from somewhere.
But, should that show reflect what friendship means to our culture, or is there a more truthful example?
For most of us, today is just another day of our lives. But that truth isn’t on TV because it just doesn’t sell a lot of ads.
We are addicted to rumors, suggestions, and temporary trivia. Facts are free, and, most of the time, aren’t found on the television these days. If you have a few reputable websites, you can know those facts in a short amount of time and move on with your day. That isn’t good news for network TV.
Our culture used to gather the news in an hour of evening viewing. Now, the news appears differently on each channel. A lot of it is called “breaking news,” even if we’ve already heard about it. There isn’t a lot of time for accurate details because about half of every news broadcast’s time slot is used for commercial messages.
And, for those of us living in Texas, there is no reason for a ten-day weather forecast. If the meteorologist were completely truthful, they would put a question mark on everything past the third day. Reporting weather in this state should be done by saying, “My best guess is . . . .”
Scripture provides an important message for everyone in our culture. Truth transcends television tabloid trivia every time. Our temperament is impacted by the way we consume our information.
Shouldn’t we be careful to consume truth?
Temper trivia with Truth
Paul told his protégé, Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Psalm 19:7 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
And Jesus appeared to John on the island of Patmos and said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5).
We own the apocalyptic truth. Jesus told John to write it down for us.
I will continue to listen to the news but not as often as I have in the past. I actually dread the “ugly” of the upcoming campaign season. So why should we listen to those ads when we have a mute button on our remotes? Why should we care about the body image of the JLo’s in this world?
We need to care about their souls.
Why should we worry about a virus when we know that life in this world is just a temporary journey home?
Do we care more about the disease causing death, or about the fact that some of those dying might not live forever?
Temper the TV with Truth
Do you believe that TV has more fake than fact these days? The television networks can’t survive on truth because it isn’t titillating.
Or is it?
- “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
- “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
- “Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 24:14).
A timely temperament
Paul told Timothy, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Scripture always tells the truth. That “time” Paul was talking about has come. We are living his words every day. So it is time to take time for our temperament.
Does the news cause us concern for ourselves or for those who don’t know the truth?
Let’s temper the TV with truth.
Equally important will be tending to our temperaments. We have the “sound teaching” that Paul was talking about. But, do our lives and temperaments earn us the chance to speak it?
Paul told us the time was coming, and it came. All Scriptures, including that one, are true. That’s good news!
Who will you be able to share the truth of God’s word with this week? The word gospel means good news.
I’m praying that all of us will look forward to our opportunities to share truth with our culture that isn’t getting it from their TVs. But then, God always intended for that job to belong to his kids anyway.
Have a great week!