Warning labels

June 28, 2024

Dear Church Family,

Have you heard on the news that the US Surgeon General is advocating to have warnings on social
media? These warning labels would be to the same effect as the warning label found on
cigarettes or the warning label found on alcohol. These warnings are intended to let people know
that what they are doing or using is and will cause health issues for the person.

These warning labels are meant to make the person pause and consider the consequences of their
actions. What are the potential health consequences of social media usage? There is the concern
about prolonged exposure to a screen. This effects their eyes as well as the brain. There is the
concern of the way it interferes with sleep when screens are used near bedtime. The greatest
concern is the potential impact on mental health. The warning would include that social media
usage is “associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents.”

For the surgeon general to give the time and focus on this issue is enough to give us reason for
pause. In what ways are adolescents harmed? Are the benefits of social media worth the risk?
Would a warning label change the way people use social media?

Warning labels come on most everything we use from cars to blood pressure medication. These
are not of the level of the Surgeon General’s warning, but they are still warnings. Do you pay
any attention to the warning labels?

Jesus had some warning labels. He presented them in his sermon on the mount. We tend to
overlook these because we focus on the blessings or “beatitudes.” But he did offer warning. He
warned against being rich, comfortable, well fed and well treated. It’s not that any of these are
bad, rather the effects that this has on others. While you are well fed, there is someone who is
not. While you are well treated, there is someone who is not.

In essence Jesus’ warning label is to not rest in your wealth, comfort and reputation. Use these to
the benefit of another. It is through your action that the poor, the hungry, the afflicted and those
who are hated receive blessings of God.

Warning: God is at work!

May the love of God be with you.

You are loved, you are cherished, you are a child of God.

See you Sunday,

Pastor Caroline

“Blessed are you…because of the Son of Man.”

~Luke 6:20-22