Editor’s note: All this week we have been re-presenting a few of the top BreakPoint commentaries for 2017. From all the staff at the Colson Center, conclude you for listening to or reading BreakPoint this year–and for your prayers and support in 2018. May God extend you a healthy and happy New Year.
It’s been a summer of severe news for America. Racism, riots, and domestic violence. Communities on the Gulf Coast continue wading by the extinction of hurricane Harvey, and now another charge is temperament down on Florida. We have copiousness of reasons to be praying and doing all we can to assuage suffering. There’s means for grief about the news—but not for pessimism.
Writing at The Guardian, Oliver Burkeman suggests that despite a boring polite fight in Syria, heart-rending photos of drowned refugees, North Korea’s nuclear saber-rattling, disasters, militant attacks, and secular violence, the universe is objectively better now than it’s ever been.
Hard to believe? Well, here are the facts: Swedish historian Mark Norberg breaks down global indicators of human multiplying into 9 categories: food, sanitation, life expectancy, poverty, violence, the state of the environment, literacy, freedom, equality, and the conditions of childhood. And in scarcely all of these categories, we’ve seen immeasurable alleviation in my lifetime.
Despite the fact that 9 out of 10 Americans contend worldwide misery is holding solid or worsening, the commission of people on this universe who live on reduction than two dollars a day—what the United Nation’s defines as “extreme poverty”—has depressed next 10 percent, which is the lowest it’s ever been.
The flay of child mankind is also at a record low. Fifty percent fewer children under 5 die currently than did thirty years ago.
Worldwide, 300,000 some-more people benefit entrance to electricity every day. In 1900, global life outlook was just 31 years. Today, it’s an considerable 71 years. And aroused crime rates in the United States are the lowest they’ve been in half a century.
Nicholas Kristof wasn’t too distant afield when he called 2016 “the best year in the story of humanity.” This year may see even some-more progress.
So because do these happy pronouncements strike us as inaccurate—even outrageous? Why—according to a new check by YouGov—do a vanishingly tiny 6 percent of Americans consider the universe as a whole is apropos a better place?
Burkeman lays much of the censure on the press. Thanks to a 24-hour news cycle that actively seeks out and overplays the misfortune stories, the notice of the universe is skewed. “We are not merely ignorant of the facts,” he writes. “We are actively assured of joyless ‘facts’ that aren’t true.” And no wonder! It’s tough to sell papers and get Web traffic with good news. No one reports when a craft takes off. They only report when they crash.
But a good understanding of the censure for the unjustifiably murky perspective of the universe also falls on our shoulders. Quite simply, we mostly enjoy being angry about the state of the world, generally when it allows us to censure someone else. We are dependant to news-induced anger.
That’s because it’s so important—while acknowledging the unfortunate immorality and pang around us—to conclude the good news, the progress, and the things we have to celebrate. After all, how can we truly sense what’s wrong with the universe if we don’t commend when something is going right?
War, famine, disease, and loathing should all remind us that God’s world, which He combined and conspicuous “very good,” is broken, and it’s the fault. But here’s the genuine comfort: It’s still—as the strain says—our Father’s world. Let us therefore never forget that “though the wrong seems oft so clever God is the ruler yet.”
As Christians, we know where story is headed, and we know how the story ends—with the emancipation and replacement of all things. We who have the good news should be the first to commend all good news, not in annoy of, but in the midst of the bad.
(This explanation creatively aired Sep 7, 2017.)
The Importance of Good News: Headlines You’re not Hearing
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is glorious or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8