What is it about harm, destruction, and a fall that is so compelling for people?
Turn on any TV, or Radio station or even the trending topics online, they have one thing in common. The’re mostly about ‘Bad News’. Bad news seems to sell more than good news. A plane crush story, a smear campaign piece gets more eye balls and clicks than a victory story. Almost 98% of every breaking news story is about something bad, or negative or something gone wrong. People tend to react and pay more attention to a negative fear mongering character assassination story than a good happy go lucky truthful positive story.
Look at the entertainment industry, the most selling movies and TV Shows are all about murder, wars, unfaithfulness, lust, betrayal, revenge, violence, sex, lewd language, and all kinds of negative unimaginable junk.
The answer is found in the basic conflict we all find ourselves in as mortals. The Scripture say that our enemy is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may prey upon. He has one purpose: to destroy, to steal and to kill. Bad reports [fake news] are part and parcel of the disruptive world we live in.
There is something mesmerizing and compelling about something that is going wrong. It seems to have the power of lust and temptation. Whether it is the train wreck or a house burning to the ground, it has our attention. Our eyes want to take it all in. However, most of us have no sense of a bad report being a kind of lust or a temptation. We convince ourselves that there is something right and noble about sharing or receiving a bad report.
The truth is that a bad report is one of the most destructive things we personally experience.
Did you know that if sheep are in a flock close together, that a wolf in their midst can walk from one sheep to the next, killing them, and the rest of the sheep will not run away? For some reason, sheep are not afraid of a wolf inside of the flock, despite what he is doing. They feel safe because other sheep are around them. Did you know that our greatest enemies are referred to as wolves in sheep’s clothing? [Matt 7:5]
Why did we abandon the principles of truth and that truth is proven by the ‘evidence’ of two or three? We listen and give weight to a single bad report. More importantly, we even believe the bad report as though it were true. By believe, I mean we act on that report. We go ahead to carry(share) it on to another. We adjust our relationships. We alter our plans, on such falsehood. There is obviously something very compelling in a bad report that brings out the worst in us. This is the very reason that gossip works so well.
Like the picture of the wolf in the flock, people will tolerate another person speaking harm against another member of the same (organization, community, society or any other setting). Moreover, we will do nothing about that destruction and harm, justifying ourselves that it’s not our business.
Some people think that quoting a person directly is all the evidence they need to determine the truth. “Well, so and so, said this…,” is the evidence many times given, but it is received as the absolute truth.
Do you know that Satan quoted from God (Genesis 3:1, Matthew 4:6)? So, does that make Satan telling the truth? Don’t we know what Satan’s motive is and does it not at once make anything he says suspect? Don’t we know that any statement made by him is for influencing us away from that which is good and right? It is the leveraging, the bias of the person reporting that should be balanced with whatever has been said.
How many times have we heard of the story of a specific quotation given, only to discover that it was a partial statement (sound bite) and did not reflect the conclusion of the matter? Just because you heard someone say one thing does not prove that it is their real position. It turns out that motivation and the reason behind something play a pivotal role in determining whether something is good or bad, whether it is the truth. Do we ever ask the person passing on the bad report what their motivations are?
There is the underlying motive that pays for the postage of bad reports. Most people who deliver bad reports do it for self-serving motives — or, worse yet, contrived and hypothetical motives. People listen to a person who delivers a bad report, even those who would normally never listen to them. How many times have we heard a person challenged with putting out a bad report, self-justify it with they were trying to prevent someone else from being harmed? “I am warning others about this.”
This is a favorite motive for many people. They justify their dispersal of bad reports by trying to “save” others. We are not talking about the loss of life here. Take the example of the 12 biblical spies who were sent out to survey the Promised Land (Numbers 13:1–33). The spies were afraid that the enemy would kill them and in the end, kill their wives and children. They thought they were saving others from the enemy. In the same manner of the spies, many people do greater harm than the harm they were trying to save others from.
The Apostle James spoke of the tongue and its power to do good or harm.
“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
“With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
Whose report are you believing? Many life’s failures, hurts, and challenges are caused by believing bad reports. Something being a fact doesn’t mean its TRUTH. remember the enemy (devil) came to Kill, Still and destroy.
Don’t give in to negativity. The Power of Life and Death is in the ‘Tongue’.
Remember, you become what you confess.
What report are you acknowledging today? Is it bad fake news or good news!
Don’t be lied to, be vigilant. The one who controls the information controls the world.