I think that there is a certain gravitational pull, a sorting out of sorts, associated with spending time online. Every tap and every click that we register is a statement of preference, and pretty soon, the digital universe starts putting things in front of us that align with these statements. Let’s just say that I see a lot of posts and ads about Notre Dame Football and Disneyland. But I also see other things – politics, morality, belief systems, and such. It’s all well and good, but I know that these posts, articles and videos are designed to drag me further down the rabbit hole of division that we are all living in. The people whose job it is to get us to engage in their content know something about us that they use to their advantage. They know that hate gets more clicks than love.
Jesus can tell us all day long not to be afraid, and not to worry, but there will always be someone ready to pounce on our fears and anxieties to exploit them. Where Christ would seek to transform fear into trust, others would like to see it fuel outrage. Outrage spreads like wildfire, which is great for ad revenues, but often less great for discipleship.
Hatred stirs up disputes, but love covers all offenses. -Proverbs 10:12
We know that love is ultimately more powerful than hate if we can just get to the depth in which it lives. Hatred is a quick fix. It readily allows us to assign blame to the other leaving our own responsibilities and shortcomings unexamined. Like any other drug, hatred calls us back again and again, demanding more of us each time.
Jesus invites us into freedom out of the slavery of sin and hatred. What if, for a week or two, you were more intentional about what you clicked on? What if you started to use those algorithms to your advantage, sending them the message that you’d rather be surrounded by goodness, kindness, and beauty than hatred and division? Let’s take an active role in shaping the surroundings that help shape us.