Earlier this summer, my daughter came home from Vacation Bible School wearing a thick purple bracelet with bright orange lettering. “Watch for God,” it read. To me, it seemed like an incomplete sentence. Watch for God to what? But my mental sluggishness only revealed a spiritual truth: God seems distant lately, and it’s difficult to see him working.
Overwhelmed with bad news, we tend to view the world through our own small, distorted prisms. Fred Rogers told of how his mother would comfort him as a child when confronted with scary news, “Watch for the helpers,” she’d say. “There’s always someone trying to help.”
But what if we don’t hear about those stories? What if those stories are buried under the rubble of the pessimistic 24-hour news cycle, in which the critical commentator reigns supreme and bad news outweighs the good by 17 to 1?
It’s not just the news’ fault. What really blinds me to the work of God in the world is the troubling public discourse between Christians. We have picked up the cynics’ dialect; we have adopted the tone of negative sensationalism.
Christians too often bury the good and beautiful ways God is working through our constant criticism of one another. Christian bloggers war with one another in battles big and laughably small. Critical articles outweigh positive articles by 3-to-1 on some Christian sites. Almost every viral article or blog post contains a negative component. Out of principle, I’ll refrain from linking to examples, but these headlines should be familiar:
- “What Christians Get Wrong”
- “What Christians Need to Stop Saying”
- “Myths Christians Believe”
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more