Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Reality of Reality Television

Reality television has been the "hot topic" in television for years now. Most reality shows center around a celebrity's life or involve a competition to create the next  model, dancer, singer, designer, chef, etc. They give audiences a look into the lives of others and motivate us to cheer them on or brush them off. But there's a new type of reality television that's growing rapidly. It's reality programming that follows the life of addicts, hoarders, criminals, and many more. This is a type of television that needs to knock the reality of what's going on in the world around us back to the front of our thoughts and prayer life.

Flipping through television channels, I came across several new reality shows highlighting the pain, suffering, bondage, and sense of hopelessness among hundreds of people across the Nation. It broke my heart. My own life has has had times of darkness and depression followed by counseling and healing. I knew what I went through was not even the tip of the iceberg of problems people face, but what I saw on television blew my mind away. Even my time working in the homeless shelter and pregnancy center didn't prepare me for the stories heard and seen on the television. A verse in Matthew came to mind after recently watching one of these shows.

Matthew 9:36, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd."

Jesus looked out into the crowds and saw a people in need of a Savior; sheep in need of a shepherd. His disciples, like you and I, most likely saw people of different shapes, sizes, colors, sexes. Jesus saw inside the heart and minds of the people and saw addicts, murders, thieves, adulterers, and prostitutes. He saw the reality and He was moved with compassion to reach out and help.

It's difficult to watch shows like these, but they are important reminders to be in prayer for others. Jesus was moved with compassion and so should we. We are called to love one another and pray for one another. It's often very easy for us to do this with the people that are in our immediate circle and even more so if someone in that circle is suffering with an addition. For those we don't know, they are literally out of sight and out of mind, but they are the ones who often need it most.

The next time we flip through shows like "Addicted" on Discovery Health or "Hoarders" on TLC and A&E, let's take some time to watch and learn what these individuals are going through and spend some time in prayer for them. They need are our help and even though we may not be physically able to help in person, we can be in prayer for them and donate/volunteer to ministries and community agencies that can provide for their physical and spiritual needs. Let's show some compassion.

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