Living in a bubble

This is a topic I have been thinking about latterly and one I know many of you don't agree with. Whilst the world is full of news that is both sad and tragic, I don’t think Christians should isolate themselves from it, literally placing themselves inside a bubble and removing themselves from what is happening outside their homes. This doesn’t mean watching every piece of news or being glued  to the TV 224/7 (as that is also bad), however it does mean having an understanding of what is happening both in our own country and in the rest of the world—being up-to-date with current events.

One of the reasons why we started sponsoring a little girl in Bangladesh (14 years ago) was to make sure our sons understood that many millions of children (and their families) did not live the fortunate life they did. As they grew up, so did Shoma and they developed a greater understanding of the struggles faced by her family in a third world nation. This reality didn’t hurt or damage them, it made them more compassionate and caring towards others less fortunate. It also taught them about other parts of the world which to me is critical in any teaching. We have never sugar-coat current affairs with our children (age appropriate) to avoid the nasty bits as we don’t believe in hiding them from reality. Once grown up they will need to function and work in the real work, therefore they need to know what is going on. They also need to have the capability to cope with real world issues. 

Shoma is almost 18 and our time sponsoring her is nearing completion. I will be very willing to start sponsoring another child and do my small bit to make a differences. This is part of “loving thy neighbour” and this is one way to teach children about other children in the world.

If we remove ourselves from current events and only focus on our own lives — how easy it is to become selfish and inward looking simply because you choose to ignore their plight because it is “unpleasant” or upsets you. How do they feel?  I often wonder if this is one of the reason why we treat asylum seekers so poorly. Is it because we choose to ignore what is happening in their lives because the truth sometimes hurts.  

A Malaysian airline MH17 was shot down over the Ukrainian two weeks ago, I heard it on the radio first thing in the morning. It was a very sad thing to wake up to—but my first thoughts were to pray for all the families who had lost loved ones. To me, this is important. To the Sudanese Christian woman who was going to be executed because of her Christianity—I was able to pray for her. Her circumstances also humbled me and reminded me of how fortunate I was to live in a country where I could practice my faith openly. It can be tough to hear these stories, but we do need to be brave and strong — our lives are a breeze in comparison to many. We shouldn’t be running away and hiding in our homes just because of these disturbing events — put your feet into their shoes and imagine their lives, just for a day. They are struggling just to stay alive whilst we are arranging flowers or deciding on what book to read. It might hurt to hear this news stories but they are living them. 

I care about the homeless man I see; the children dying in South Sudan as a result of cholera; the millions of children killed or alone due to the civil war in Syria; the Palestinian children living in fear etc….  I could choose to hide away and pretend nothing bad is happening (and think life is a bed of roses), or I can listen and learn and pray. I am truly blessed with my family, my  home and the country I live in — it’s important not to forget those less far fortunate than yourselves.  We need to be aware of their struggles and not put our heads in the sand.  

However it is all about balance and self-control  — do show some interest in world events and use that knowledge to pray for others and perhaps you can make a small differences to just one other person. Whilst it would be great to think the world all lived like you and me, but it doesn't — most live far worse and we shouldn't be living in a bubble.

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  1. Thank you for the wonderful reminder to keep things in perspective, and to be a prayer warrior if we can do little else. We have taught our children compassion for others, too, by sponsoring children in other countries over the course of many years.
    You have a wonderful blog and I am always inspired by your words. Thank you for sharing and caring!
    Gwen in Arkansas, USA

    1. Thankyou Gwen for dropping by. When I hear of women who don't want to read the news as its so "horrible" I feel sad for those who are living these horrible lives - not by choice but because they have no choice. We need to be aware of their plight and do what we can and sometimes that is through prayer.

      Blessings :)

  2. This is very important. God has allowed us to have the ability to know about things from all around the world in our times, and it is our responsibility to value and use this ability to glorify Him, help the helpless/needy and spread the Gospel. In many other eras people couldn't communicate with the outside world - this didn't mean they lived in a bubble - it meant that they had other responsibilities before God according to what He had given them at their fingertips.
    Something sad that I have found is that people are far quicker to send money overseas to "help" an organisation than they are to help the elderly carry their shopping down the street - knowing about international affairs shouldn't take priority over helping those on our own doorstep, or showing them the way of salvation who live in the neighbourhood.
    Have you ever seen the DVD series called "Dispatches from the Front", Jo? They are a mission group who are very Scripturally sound (from what I have researched/know) who have gone into many countries to create "dispatches" - visual journals and documentaries to show how it is for people in other countries and cultures and what is being done to take the Gospel to the peoples who do not know God. They are publishing/have published a book about their projects also, which I am looking forward to reading as soon as I can get hold of it. We have used the DVDs to learn about some of the Frontlines of the Gospel work and the people who need prayer and Bibles etc and both myself and Dan and the children have learned a lot through that. The DVDs are very well done and worth getting hold of if you haven't already seen them.

    1. I told Jo about these DVD's some time ago, and suggested she borrow them from Rossie =) And I have the book, will work on reading it, so you can borrow it from Rossie with your next box =) I am really looking forward to the book, the DVD's were superb - real eye-openers!

    2. Thanks Bets for telling me about the book - I think I will buy it (I have added it to my wish list) as I think my dad would also enjoy it.

    3. Clara - very true, we are not very good at helping those nearest us but happy to send off money. But I make an effort to help my elderly neighbour whenever she is in need, in fact the other day I did her tax return as its rather tricky for anyone who is not computer savvy. And I hope my children do likewise when they see someone in need.

      Bets did tell me about the "Dispatches from the Front" and as I just mentioned to Bets I will buy a copy of the book as I am sure my dad will enjoy it. I will organise to borrow the DVDs from Rossie as they do sound great. This is a great way to teach children about others in society who less fortunate. I see that there are now 6 in the series.

    4. There are actually 7 of them now, but I don't know if the 7th one has been released yet or whether Rossie has it. :)
      Good, Bets - I'm really looking forward to reading it!

    5. Just ordered my copy of the book.

  3. Thanks for linking up! I love your message! I'm selective about what comes into our house, like you and I think that is so important for our kids. We hardly watch tv, but are really engaged with our community since we are foster parents and so our bio kids are well aware of the difference in how we lives versus others close to us and far away since we sponsor too. I have to admit that it bothered me a lot about how people would be so concerned about our boys with the fostering- yes, it is difficult and it is painful, but running away from trouble and pain only ends us up into our bubble and being completely ineffective. If we are really serious about serving God we have to not hide in a bubble :)
    -S.L. Payne,

    1. For our children to function in the real world (and they do need to when they grow up and work) they need to have some exposure as they grow up - and I don't mean nasty in your face type issues. And whilst some issues are painful - isn't it better to talk about these in the safe environment of the home and not be surprised when you grow up and have left home.

      Thanks so much for dropping by.

  4. Good points. We sponsor a girl through Compassion International who is the same age as my daughter. Its good for kids to know their world is not the only one....

  5. My husband would give this post *5 Stars* as this is something he is constantly emphasizing in our family. The life we have is almost like a fantasy. He grew up in a poor country and sometimes the wasteful actions and shallow comments of people who have been brought up in peace and prosperity are hard to swallow (if they only knew how other people lived, if they knew what being "poor" really meant, one lady thought it meant not affording a manicure *sigh*). Excellent reminder!

    Thanks for linking up with us and sharing the link on your post :)

    1. Perhaps this is why my father was keen on us hearing the news. He too came from a poor family (whereas my mother came from a very fortunate family) and he understood the struggles that people faced. I just find it sad when I read of women who say "I don't listen to the news as it is too upsetting" - what about the poor people living that news - they can't escape. Thankyou for stopping by!


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