Selling Fear

Should you join the latest fear craze? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Something that became a meme of sorts in the Trump presidency was fake news. Whatever you think of Trump, fake news is a reality. If you’re on the left, you will likely think organizations like Fox or OANN are fake news. On the right, you will find most everyone else such as CNN and MSNBC as being fake news.

It exists. It exists on the right and on the left. In many cases, it is in extremes on both sides. It’s important to note that when stories are given that are fake news, there is often some degree of truth in the stories. There can be something that is real behind them, but many times, it is done because it sells well.

It would be nice if news organizations were altruistic, but they also have to make enough to keep doing what they’re doing. This is also the case many times for people on YouTube who want to get subscribers and likes and everything else. As a blogger here, I do have a Patreon as well as yes, income definitely helps me with the work that I do.

Something that sells well also is fear. Fear can get you emotionally invested in what is going on and get you where you have to watch the news more to find out more. There can be something there that could be a threat in some way, but then the goal of the news is to get you to think hysterically about it.

The biggest example we have of this is the Coronavirus. I made a decision early based on what I first heard about the virus, I knew it wasn’t anything to be afraid of. I chose to not get into the hysteria.

“But people died from the virus! I know someone who died from it!”

Yes. People die from every virus pretty much. It’s a tragedy (And by the way, dying from and dying with are two different things.), but we should not be shocked when viruses have negative effects on the lives of people. Planes crash sometimes, but it is not realistic to panic before every plane flight.

I made a decision then to not get caught up in the hysteria. Looking back now, I see that I am convinced that was a good decision. I went around and lived my life as normally as I could, having to follow restrictions I hated at some times granted, and I made it through.

Right now, we all know the economy is struggling. I don’t know anyone who will deny that gas prices are on the rise as are food prices. Does that concern me? Yes. I am not at all saying to not be concerned. Am I going to give in to fear hysteria over it? No.

We can also say the same with what is going on in Ukraine. We can get caught up in fear over that.

“And what if Putin starts a nuclear war over this?!”

And what exactly will your living in fear do to stop that? If anything, it leaves you less equipped as when you are emotionally being dominated, you are less likely to think rationally in a situation. The problem with much of the news is that we can learn a lot about problems that we can do absolutely nothing about. (By the way pastors who do talk about political and current events, you are doing your disservice to your flock if you feed them more fear than more confidence in what Jesus Christ can do.)

I’m not going to tell you I bat 1,000 on this. This has been a growing process for me and sometimes, I have given in to fear. Right now, I’m trying to not let it be dominant. When I see rising gas and food prices, I instead try to think that this is just where the challenge rises up and this is the time for true Americans to shine.

If you can’t watch the news without panicking, then just turn it off. You might be less informed on some matters, but you will be better able to care for yourself and your own family. Perhaps spend that extra time in Bible study again and build up your confidence in God until you get to the point where you can watch again. Worrying about something you can do absolutely nothing about is completely useless. If you think there could be some disaster coming, take the preparedness steps you can and then live your life. I am not telling you to be haphazard with your life, but I am also telling you to not live in fear definitely.

Again, speaking from experience, I can say this has served me well. I struggle with enough matters that I have fear over already. Those are also some things I can do something about. I have no need to invest energy into things I can do nothing about. There is a better usage of my time than worrying.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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