I’m driving down the road singing my heart out to a favorite song on the radio and all of a sudden my tune is interrupted by static. I live in the mountains y’all. It happens. Ughh.
I’m all into a tv show and suddenly the picture starts breaking up. Ughh.
I’m on the internet trying to do something important (like scroll through Facebook) and suddenly the page freezes. I tap a few more times. Nothing. Are all the lights out on the modem? Yep. Ughh.
I’m thankful for technology; for the many ways it’s used for good, but we can find ourselves overly dependent on our devices.
This reminds me of the daily disturbances that often affect my feelings of well-being; the static that happens in my heart & soul as though I’ve lost a clear signal of what’s good.
Ya know what I mean?
You’re scrolling through Facebook seeing perfectly posed lives and begin to feel less than. That can be depressing.
Or maybe you read a post and feel judged by someone’s opinion. Discouraging.
You scroll up on evil being paraded like a dog & pony show, getting all kinds of applause. Nauseating.
How about a little tv – maybe the news? Distressing.
Perverted commercials and cartoons? Disgusting.
How about radio? Political debates & corruption? Provoking. Small doses for me.
I’m not down on everything, but we’re only talking about things that cause disturbances here. We may have our minds filled with Truth, even so, it can be difficult to get our feelings in line with what we know to be true.
We know ain’t nobody livin’ no pinterest perfect life. As for the evil parades, we know it’s just a matter of time for the consequences to rain on all the “fun”. We know the media is biased and pushing their agenda with every broadcast. We know that the same political games are a never-ending part of life in this world; that corruption is here to stay. But still, we find ourselves repeatedly disturbed by these things.
But, we don’t have to be discouraged that we’re discouraged. King David, the man after God’s own heart, found himself in the same predicament. It’s been recorded for our encouragement. Listen to him preach to Himself…
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. The help of my countenance and my God.” -Psalm 42:11
The steady flow of messages that we’re exposed to are powerful and our lives are bombarded with them. Our unseen Enemy specializes in propaganda, because it works. We often miss what’s happening in our hearts and souls as we receive these “fiery darts”. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more in tune with my emotions. I sense disturbances in my soul quickly and I’ve learned to take more precaution in this area. Like David, I preach to myself often, but here are a few more ways that I contend with the downward drag…
- Tune it right. What I mean is, if I want to be encouraged, I need to be connected to encouraging influences in the media (as much as possible) people, ministries, music, art, etc… It’s that simple. I ask the Lord to help me be sensitive to any influences that subtly steal my peace and joy– to carefully consider the fruit of what I’m listening to or viewing. For instance, I’m more encouraged on Facebook than I am discouraged because I’ve made it that way. I’m connected to ministries and resources and people that fill me with goodness far more than influences that will bring me down.
- Tune out. I do this regularly, for as long as I need to– an hour, a day, a week… We hear this tip all the time and hopefully we’ll continue to, because it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s easy to develop a media addiction. We want connection (which is a God designed thing) but when it brings discouragement, it’s being used against us. I believe it takes continual practice to simply unplug.
- Tune in with God. This is my favorite– having my own broadcast. I speak everything I want to say, freely and without fear. No political correctness necessary. You and I both know that as we see and hear discouraging things, the conversation between our ears is often negative. I’m not thinking nice thoughts much of the time in response to evil, and I’m so thankful that I can take it all to the Lord. The good. The bad. The downright ugly. And there, the devices of my flesh are cleansed. I’m strengthened and encouraged in that intimacy and acceptance with Him. I can tune into the world another day with a clear, strong signal of His goodness and grace.
I hope you’re encouraged. Stay tuned for more of the same.
Your friend, Jamie =)