Ebola: The Media’s Fear Tactics
On the evening of October 22, 2014, I was invited to participate in a conference call with the Washington Department of Homeland Security Faith-based Initiative which included Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) representatives, ministers from around the country as they requested the assistance of pastors and chaplains in addressing the media’s fear tactics around the Ebola outbreak. I also attended a meeting with the Tulsa Health Department (THD) to receive the most up to date information about Oklahoma: CDC reports “Ebola poses minimal risk to Tulsa and the surrounding communities, and the Tulsa Health Department is very confident that Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma are very well prepared. There is no indication of exposure to the Ebola virus in Oklahoma and the CDC has not contacted THD about a suspected case of Ebola or about contacts to a case.”
How do we manage generalized fear that may be imposed on us from others? Fear is powerful; it can override logical thinking and produce irrational behavior. Thankfully, we have the Word of God to rule our actions. We can declare, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in [God]” (Ps. 56:3).
If you turn on your TV every day and need to see the news despite knowing it upsets you, you may want to re-think that decision. Prevent fear from paralyzing you. If it is not supporting positive thinking, don’t watch the program. There is a difference in obtaining information in order to educate yourself and rule out fear. In the case of Ebola, it is important to understand the extremely low risk in contracting it, and the differences in sanitation and access to medical treatment in this country compared to countries in Africa dealing with the outbreak. It is important to know the facts and turn down the volume on the hype.
My favorite scripture is in Psalms 91, “Trusting God’s faithfulness dispels our fearfulness to protect us from harm.” Psalms 91
The next time fear creeps into your life, don’t panic. God can be trusted in times of darkness through the assurance of His Word, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
If you are struggling with fear, call us at Brookhaven’s Renewal Program, 888-298-HOPE, (4673). We are here to help you overcome your fears.