In an era of 24-hour news sources, there’s a constant craving by CNN, Fox, CNBC and the like for up-to-the-minute, impactful news. I liken them to junkies who are in constant need of a sensational new fix. Of course, there isn’t always something new and sensational to report on, so the media create something. The law of diminishing returns then comes into effect, so the next time they have to come up with a bigger and better story. It’s like a drug addict who is constantly looking for a bigger, and more frequent, fix.
The sad part is that the American public plays right into this game. The recent suspicious deaths and illnesses has begun to devastate the Dominican Republic’s economy over the past few weeks by the dramatic drop in tourism, all because the media gave the impression that everyone in the Dominican Republic was walking around with face masks and rubber gloves.
With an 11th person dead (at this time), Dominican heath officials lashed out at recent reports exposing the deaths while visiting the country. Officials called it “fake news” and “hysteria,” with the purpose to hurt the country’s tourism. Clearly people want to know what’s true, but rumors and supposition will fill the void when there are no answers. Statistically the #1 Caribbean destination with approximately 6.18 million international tourists per year, speculation has surfaced that sabotage-tourism terrorism-is to blame. It doesn’t help this theory when Puerto Rico (the number four destination) was hit by a devastating storm recently and tourism dollars are tumbling and Cuba (the number two destination) was opened up for tourism by Obama and then closed by Trump. The desperation for dollars is thick.
So why is the public panicking? It’s because CNN and the rest need something to report about, so they make mountains out of molehills. All before clear answers are forthcoming. And that may be a while …
Given all of this, what is a Christian to do? I believe that we need to recognize and constantly remember where our hope and confidence lies. Christians shouldn’t be given to hysteria, panic and fear. We need to be the critical thinkers on earth who have a more eternal viewpoint during crises. James makes it clear that trials are not to be feared, but rather embraced. The Lord allows trials to come into our lives so we can learn and grow from them as we all continue in the sanctification process, whether it’s the economy, the flu or any other external circumstances.
I used to believe that life, as a whole, would be good, and from time to time there would be challenges. What I realize now that that life is a challenge, and from time to time there is good. Why? Because we are a fallen people who live in a fallen world, and who are in desperate need of redemption from the Savior of the universe. The fallen people in a fallen world without a Savior will always choose the most harmful way. It’s only redemption, the light of Christ, and the renewing of our minds that will offer any hope on earth and in eternity.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought-after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.