May 04, 2020

News Travels

Devotion for the Week...

I recently came across a phrase that has been part of newspaper culture for generations: "If it bleeds, it leads." Morbid as it sounds, it describes the philosophy that the bloodier the news, the more prominence it should have in the paper because that is the sort of story that sells the most newspapers. No wonder the news is always full of doom and gloom.

With the pandemic offering plenty of fodder for this 'doom and gloom' type of news, I have really been enjoying John Krasinski's Some Good News on Mondays. Have you watched it yet? Every single episode so far has brought tears to my eyes at least once. Krasinski shares stories like the cab driver who was honoured by his local hospital's staff for bringing patients to and from the hospital for free, and a girl who finished cancer treatments and was welcomed home by family and friends who lined the road in their vehicles so they could celebrate with her safely, and entire cities turning out to clap and cheer for their frontline workers every evening. It is refreshing to hear about things that are beautiful and sweet and good.

The apostle Paul was delighted to hear good news about one of the churches he started. He wrote to the church in Thessalonica about what he was hearing: "And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead" (1 Thessalonions 1:8-10).

Put yourself in Paul's place for a moment. Wouldn't it feel wonderful to hear reports, wherever you go, telling you about the faith of these people you had introduced to Jesus? Wouldn't that bring tears to your eyes in a good way? That must have been so reassuring for him, to know that people were continuing to live and share their faith even after he moved on to teach about Jesus somewhere else.

Not only that, but it sounds like it was also making people more receptive to his message. Have you ever heard the term 'social proof'? According to WhatIs.com, "Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of the people around us (either in real life or online) have on our own behavior. The "proof" element is the idea that if other people are doing it (or saying it), it must be correct." This is why companies have testimonials on their products or their website and why books have blurbs from popular authors. It's also why businesses want you to like their FB pages, because the more likes they have, the more social proof that gives them and the more appealing they look to new potential customers.

Paul says that when he traveled to new places, the people there were already talking about how the people of Thessalonica had changed their lives after accepting Paul's message. I would imagine that meant people were already interested in what Paul had to say and intrigued by the possibility that his message could be true. After all, the Thessalonians hadn't changed their lives so dramatically for nothing, and it had to have been a dramatic change for word to be spreading like it was.
Jesus came to offer salvation to everyone | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Sparkler
When people talk about us, would our faith in God be part of the conversation? Is it a noticeable part of our lives, something significant enough that people are even aware of it? That Jesus came to offer salvation to everyone is the ultimate good news. Do our lives help that good news to travel?

2 comments:

  1. I didn't now about the Monday videos. I'll have to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have written truth. I often hear in sermons that I am supposed to behave in such a way that everyone will know I’m different because of my faith in God. More often than not, I’m afraid no one sees a difference because I don’t show I t. “New” in the Lord, and “throwing off the old,” is tough. Bless you for being exactly the vessel that God uses. You’re noticeable! Thank you for sharing about Some Good News too. I’ll be sure to look it up.

    ReplyDelete

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