“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” — Matthew 24:6-8 KJV
I recently wrote that nowadays the world seems on fire and I just can’t watch it burn. I believe in being informed. But, it’s also important not to be misinformed and it’s also important not to fall in the trap of getting emotionally worked up and either angry, fixated or hopeless. I mean that’s what the donkey and the elephant want. It’s what the ‘news’ media and social media want. But, it’s not what I want. It’s not what Jesus wants for us either.
I was raised to pay close attention to society, religion and politics. For many good reasons. however, that was long before the 24/7 instant news-tainment was a thing, much less a hand held device to keep it coming constantly, right?! I have to turn my phone face down at night or the flashing ‘urgent’ notifications wake us up at night! Lol.
I started pulling back from the news November 2018. But, at the turn of this year I felt the Lord encourage me to keep my eyes on Him, so that I don’t get distracted from what’s most important. For me, too much news crowds out what, for me, is most important to my assignment. (I believe we all have assignments, more on this another day!)
I stay informed. But, I keep it short. And I move on. The verse He put on my heart, I come back to over and over, it’s a commonly quoted verse on social media, because it’s bulletproof! — “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” — Isaiah 26:3. Says it all for me. And it’s so true!
I particularly like in the Matthew 24 verse above, that He tells us ‘See that ye be not troubled’. It means we have a choice in whether we get upset or not. By His grace we can relearn how to respond to the news. I have to try to not be shoved, mentally, into the quick reaction the media is hoping for, (and the political parties as well). I’m learning response is measured and I control it. Reaction is volatile and it controls me. That’s not going to work. It’s not what we are made for. Self control is my favorite fruit of the spirit. Now, I’ve come a long way in this regard, but of course, I still have far to go! It’s ok though! I’m learning and the Holy Spirit is a great teacher.
Here’s another fool proof verse for keeping our focus so that we are most effective at being salt and light wherever we are and whatever we do! — “ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK on these things.” — Philippians 4:8
For me, my goal is to not dull my shine, not waste my salt. Train my mind to respond, mentally to what I learn, pray and move on, not react and get emotionally worked up, which leads to (in my case) unhelpful attitudes, and words. It’s tricky. Because I do believe there’s a lot of evil in this world. And evil can cause a reaction for obvious reasons. But, in the darkness light shines the brightest! We have His light if He lives in our hearts, so I’m going to respond. In faith. And move on.
I’m learning. Like Robert Frost said ‘And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.’
This might be the start (or might not, we will see!) of a Tuesdays are for Thinking series!
I hope your day is filled with His peace and thoughts of virtuous, lovely and ‘good report’ things!