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This is Clickbait

Seriously. That is why I chose that title. It's counterintuitive. The blogging platform I use has a faded line where the "title" of the entry goes, and there it always says, "Add a Catchy Title."


Well, there is a limit to how many catchy titles I can come up with. Sometimes I try a title that addresses whatever is current. Sometimes I try one that is controversial. I do always try to be absolutely honest with my titles. (Am I succeeding?)


I can't say as much for the headlines and clickable links elsewhere online. I've become what might be called suspicious and sophisticated. With my browsing habits, that is. I've gotten to the point that I recognize hollow clickbait for what it is.


Now, depending on the source, some clickbait still gets me. But that's just it - the source! If the Babylon Bee puts out clickbait, I'm still clicking on it. Why? Because the Bee never disappoints. I go their to get a smile and a laugh (with a not so subtle reminder of truth). And, the Bee delivers.


Don't stop reading yet. I'm going somewhere significant with this.


We are being conditioned. For the most part I don't view it as any kind of conspiracy. At least, not a government conspiracy. Not even a human conspiracy. Of course everything evil is part of a Satanic conspiracy against us.


Still, we are being conditioned. At what point is EVERYTHING online going to be boring? At what point is nothing interesting? Can we count on a continual flow of intriguing and novel things to pique our interest and to keep us engaged/entertained? I sure hope not.


"All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone" - Blaise Pascal.


"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal.


Maybe we should just all go read Blaise.


He taught that the worst thing that could happen to us is that we successfully distract ourselves continually from the ultimate questions that plague us.


So, back to the issue at hand.


We are curious creatures. We wonder what we can find that will make us wonder. But rather than it being something stupid, or something dangerous, or something sensual, or something controversial - what if we would learn to be satisfied with truth? Only satisfied with truth!


Oh, I know. Many of us do value truth. But we get our fill of it. It seems to weigh us down. But it shouldn't. There are probably many reasons it does that to us. But one of the reasons is that truth is not presented to us for our education only, but ultimately for our edification. We must act on the truth that we encounter.


Now, if we discover a truth that has infinite energy, constant relevance, universal significance, personal connection, absolute endurance - and if we cooperate and apply it well - then the irrelevant dainties of sports, society, sensualism, and such will lose there appeal. As the old hymn puts it, "The things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."


It's a tricky thing though. Our flesh; our fallen nature is constantly present and annoyingly persistent. The fallible features of our natural existence will always find a way to turn legitimate things into dross. Example: preach the gospel in sincerity; see converts; and see if your pride doesn't rise up to ruin what God is doing.


So what is the goal here? Well, in this place (davetalley.com) the goal is to provide a safe place where you can go to find honest and relevant thoughts connected to issues that actually matter to you in your daily life, especially as you consider the fact that you will someday answer to God for how you have used your time.


I have a tendency to like using big words that I have to look up (to make sure that I actually comprehend what they mean and how to use them). And, there is a part of me that is just checking off an item on my "to-do" list (so I will feel better about myself). But there is much more to this than that. Truly, it is important that we get connected and stay connected. It is important that we communicate mutually in a way that allows us all to improve. AND - don't miss this last point - if we can provide genuine substance that will help others too, then let's all use our limited influence to multiply the influence of our collective (Christian) perspective.


In other words: by myself, I will never reach the world. But, if we join together; if enough of us get connected around the central truth that matters most (the gospel of Jesus Christ), then our voice will be heard by the millions who currently don't even know that we exist and who think they don't care. But they do. They do care. They just don't know it (yet).


They don't know that we have the cure for all that ails them.


So, yes. If I have to use clickbait to get the message out - so be it. It won't be an empty destinations though. The "click" must go somewhere worthy of attention. The reader/viewer/listener needs to find something that they need, even if they don't yet want it. Our invitation to "come this way" is neither a rabbit hole of irrelevance nor is it a bait-and-switch scheme invented for our own gratification. (At least, it had better not be either one of those). Jesus should be at the bottom of ever blog entry, every podcast, every sermon, every program, every event. Not just a tag-on to soothe our conscience, but the evident and obvious conclusion of whatever question we are addressing.


Agree?



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