Pause for Prayer
By Karen Schoeppach
There is a new type of television show these days. It entertains by showing videos of wars -- “Road Wars”, “Parking Wars”, “Neighbor Wars”, and “Customer Wars”. I use the word “entertains” loosely. I can’t say I have watched these shows. Mostly I have seen the commercials for the shows, but I have caught a few episodes. The central theme in each case is how horribly we humans can act toward each other in public. Of course, there is always someone ready with their phone to video what takes place. Verbal abuse and violent behavior – sometimes behavior that breaks the law – fills each episode on each of the shows. So, bullying and bad behavior are passing for entertainment tv. The shows are very actively promoted. What message is being sent? These shows are advertised at different times of the day, so even very young children can see clips of the episodes. Parts of the episodes can make the viewer laugh over the crazy things that people will do. But what I see is what is being used for entertainment is telling those who watch that bad behavior, that bullying is acceptable and enjoyable to watch.
Dear God, how can we teach our children to care for others , that bullying is wrong, that it is important to forgive and other life lessons if we are celebrating these behavior “wars”? If children and young people observe us laughing at people behaving rudely, cruelly, or violently, how can they accept our guidance regarding behavior? God help us! Really, help us! We know what you want us to say. Please give us the words that will reach others. Let us live as an example of what it means to consider people’s feelings. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.