More Grist for the Mill

The Title Says it All...

Clickbait and the Soul

‘People with Excellent Credit Must Have One of These Cards!’

‘Nearly 23,487 Seniors Now Swear by This Drink!’

‘Mortgage Refi Hack Could Fix Your Money Problems’

‘Millionaire Boils Stock Success Down to One Pattern’

‘Collect an Extra $2,194 per Month?’

Come on, let’s admit it. Just you and me. No one else has to know. I promise. Look, it’s perfectly understandable, even as you KNOW going into it that chances are very good nothing good will come out of it, and the best-case scenario is you lose a few minutes of your life that you will never be able to reclaim. Worst-case scenario? If you’re lucky, you’re computer will be infected with a virus that cannot be removed and will cause you many hours of frustration as you have to rebuild everything. If you’re not lucky, you’ll be out some money as either you’ve fallen victim to a scam or someone will have installed ransomware on your device. If I were not such an advocate for freedom of speech, I would say that Congress oughta do something about it.

However, if it didn’t work, clickbait would not exist.

Why does it work? Simple. We choose not to help ourselves – catchy headlines have been part of media for ages. Whatever it takes to attract someone’s attention, we will do.

This is not a new phenomenon. In reading the scriptures the message comes to us more than once that we are to be careful about temptation, to have discerning wisdom about the things of this world. We are, as the apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, “…[s]eek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth…”

On this Friday morning, take a moment to ask yourself, “What is the clickbait in my life? What is it that I allow to distract me from the truth of living a life focused on the love of God embodied in Christ and enabled by the Holy Spirit?”

Oh, and there is more more crucial point that must not be forgotten in this whole discussion, a point the writer of Proverbs captured over 2,000 years ago, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.” We are not called to live the Christian life on our own or to try and ‘figure God out’ by own own devices – but will be humble enough to admit we cannot do it on our own and need the help of the Holy Spirit?

What is the clickbait of your life that is baiting you away from focusing on the grace, peace, mercy, and love of God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit?

About Lamar Oliver

I am a Christian, husband, father, and United Methodist pastor who is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University (Accounting) and Asbury Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) in my 18th year of full-time ministry.