"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
News and Social Media Fatigue
According to Pew Research Center, “almost seven-in-ten Americans have news fatigue.” That number is very alarming and something that we as the church must consider in our everyday lives. The article states, “If you feel like there is too much news and you can’t keep up, you are not alone.” That is true, as I often myself feel this way, but how do we prevent this from happening in the first place. I believe it starts with remembering that the enemy makes it a mission to keep us distracted. He uses every resource at his disposal to keep our minds occupied and off of our main calling, which is to glorify God (Psalm 57:2, 1 Peter 2:9, Colossians 1:16). When we pray, we should mention the Lord’s Prayer as there are significant sections that allude to factors that impact us even today such as distraction. Matthew 6:13 is a great example that asks God to “lead us not into temptation, but to deliver us from evil.” Leading us away from temptation would include leading us away from the distractions that may not be necessarily bad in and of themselves, but are present as a distraction set by the enemy. In our path to the Lord’s will for our lives, there are many snares such as in Psalm 119:110, 140:5, 141:9; Jeremiah 18:22.
Social media and digital entertainment offers the same type or source of a possible distraction from our purpose. Just open your Facebook, Twitter, or Netflix app and you will find a million and one reasons to stay occupied for the next two hours, but what are we being fed during this block of time? Is anything we are getting out of these distractions positive? Maybe some of it can be positive, but is it helping us live out our purpose, or is it distracting us from the Lord’s desire for our life. I believe that it is more of a distraction than most of us would like to admit. This does not mean that you spend every waking hour pushing yourself to maximum efficiency by only doing occupational, ministry, and family work, but it does mean that we are good stewards with our time. When we lose track of priorities and time maintenance, we begin to find ourselves slipping into activities that become habits. It takes around 21 days to form a habit, whether it is good or bad. Now, think about the last 21 days of your life, has the activity been purpose habit forming, or unproductive habit forming? Everyone goes through seasons of life and adjustments along the way. It’s a part of life and the process of God forming us as his clay into the masterpiece that He wants us to be. Even the world goes through seasons, however we should not force unproductive seasons and periods of time in our lives where God is forced to intervene. As we grow in Christ, we should grow in our ability to be sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction and self-control.
There are several other posts in our blog about what to do when there is unrest in the world and news, as there has been the last few weeks. There are also several others on how to prevent burnout and even the changing seasons in our life. Regardless of where we are habit, stress, or relationship wise with God, we should start by talking with Him. Prayer is how we communicate with God. Before you judge, just remember that prayer doesn’t have to be some religious ritual, but rather a conversation with God. You speak and He listens. However, that conversation feels and goes a lot better when you have made a commitment to God as your personal savior. If you would like more information on how to make Christ your personal Savior and develop a relationship with Him, check us out here. After a relationship and conversation, comes the study and learning about God’s ways via His Word, The Holy Bible. Becoming a part of a regular fellowship would also be a step forward into further developing your relationship with God through His body of believers who can help sustain and lift you up in prayer. As you grow and develop in the Lord’s presence, knowledge, and conviction, the Spirit will give you guidance on how to grow in the Lord and avoid the distractions such as those we have spoken of (Galatians 5:22-23).
As we grow in our relationship with God, we develop a desire to share His love and life giving power with others. One-by-one, we can begin to help the neighbors, coworkers, friends, and even strangers around us know the love of Christ. Perhaps they struggle with the negative news and social media of the world such as many others. While the enemy may come to “steal, kill, and destroy,” we can remind others that Christ wouldn’t have us suffer, but to live in “abundance” and joy (John 10:10; Romans 15:13). Let us bind together as the body of Christ and pray for one another, that we might find strength through the mighty God in us, to resist the attempts of the enemy to distract and bind us. May we be resistant to the attempts of emotional sabotage and control of our minds. May we possess minds of Christ and allow our bodily members to be the vessels of His works. In God’s Heavenly name we pray, Amen!
Pew Research Center