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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

MIH (Media Induced Hysteria)

Having just come through the Easter season, we are reminded once again in the Gospel story leading up to our Lord’s Crucifixion and Resurrection of the fickle nature of humanity.

Jesus had just been hailed as “King” as He rode into Jerusalem on a colt to celebrate the Passover with His followers. Then just days later, He was arrested, beaten, and brought before Pilate where some of those same people were shouting “crucify Him” at the urging and behest of the Pharisees and other religious leaders of the day.

The question is how does this happen? How do people go from cheering to jeering someone in less than a week? I believe the answer lies in how our emotions can get the best of us and how they can be used and manipulated.

This phenomenon continues today, in what I call MIH (media induced hysteria).

We see this at sporting events, political rallies, and other activities where people are exposed to passions and feelings that run deep and can be easily stoked into a frenzy.

“MIH”, is where issues of grave concern for some are used to further the agendas of others. The same herd mentality we saw in Jesus’s day exists in people today. The ease with which a fervor can be created is astounding and evident.

Whether it is the current state of the Covid-19 virus or the constant attempts to divide people into groups based on their differences, the intent is always the same. To further an agenda or to benefit a cause.

Caiaphas used this tactic to lead our Lord to the Cross and many today are using similar tactics for their own purposes.

What can we do about it? How can we resist giving into “MIH”? We can focus our hearts and minds on Jesus. We can trust in the Lord and we can resist the tendency we all have of going along with the crowd.

Paul gives us a prescription for avoiding giving in to this type of hysteria in Romans. Here is where we find the ability to “follow Jesus” instead of people!

Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to the ways of this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.

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