Thousands of Christian churches saw nobody shooting at them Sunday. Millions of Muslims made no bomb threats against American financial institutions last week. Most corporate executives conducted business yesterday with honesty and integrity. Untold married couples got along well, without one spouse stabbing or shooting the other.
These things you know already. But to these things you may have given little thought. It is the exceptions, the bad events, that catch our eye. The mass shooting, murders, and thefts make the headlines that greet us each morning and tuck us into bed at night. If we are not careful, we begin to focus so much on the horrible exceptions that we forget the abundance of good that is so common around us.
That’s not healthy. The danger is that we become jaded and cynical, that we begin to think that the bad is all there is. That view of life strangles joy. It withers love.
Consider an example: You are traveling through heavy traffic in Atlanta. A car cuts into your lane, forcing you to stomp your brakes to avoid a collision. Your coffee spills with the sudden stop. Your child bangs his head on the dash. You are understandably upset.
Two days later, what do you remember about that trip through Atlanta? More importantly, what is your impression of traffic in Atlanta? I’m guessing that you’ve concluded that it’s awful and you may have even added, “Drivers in Atlanta are so rude!”
But how many cars were around you on that drive? Hundreds? Thousands? How did most of those drivers behave? Probably, most of them, in fact, almost all of them, drove fairly well and minded the rules of the road. Otherwise, you and I likely wouldn’t be having this conversation.
So you see what I’m suggesting? When we focus on the bad, it tends to grow in our mind until we conclude that everything – and everybody is bad. And that is simply not true.
“Love,” God tells us, “is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6, NCV). That’s where it focuses – on what is true and good.
If you want more love and joy in your daily life, you’ll need to look somewhere other than the typical news. If you want to rejoice with what is good and true, look for it. Millions of content people look for good every day – and find it!