I’ve talked to friends who shake their head in disbelief and I’ve overheard quite a few say things like, “This world is becoming a terrible place.” Or, “It’s not the world I was raised in.” Have you been hearing the some of the same things?
The news these past few weeks has been incredibly heartbreaking. From the devastating carnage in Orlando to the Islamic terrorism around the globe– and lets not forget the political environment online that’s gearing up to be uglier than ever before. It’s made me seriously sick to my stomach.
Don’t even get me started on the election. Please. Don’t.
When I purchased a new laptop I handed it over to my husband. He’s the tech geek in the house. After a few hours he had everything up and running. “What apps do you want on it?”
I thought for a minute.
“Put the news on my home screen.”
I thought I was being a responsible adult, you know, keeping up with the world around me? Instead, I filled my mind every single day with stories that broke my heart. Paul is incredibly gifted at reading all sorts of news stories all over the internet and focusing only on true newsworthy articles.
I’m not like him.
Sure, I read lots of political posts, but I’m more emotional, more feelings-driven which is very dangerous when choosing what stories to read. Saying I read the news for the news is not very honest. Here’s how I read the news:
I’m sucked into every angry (misguided and illogical) rant on Facebook and each deranged, sick and twisted story on every online news site. When I click on said stories the algorithms remember what stories I clicked on and feed me more and more of the same– and my mind and heart just can’t handle it.
Are you struggling with the news, too? Maybe, you need a refresher in what “news” is “news”. I discovered an article that goes into the research of reading the news and explains perfectly what the news is and what the news isn’t. (Warning: It’s a LONG one, but SO WORTH IT.)
Our Body Has A Mind-Heart Connection
Researchers have proven the thoughts that rattle around in our pretty little head steer our heart on a crash-course toward the emotions that hold us captive. I call them the trifecta of angst; fear, anxiety and anger.
But, if you’re a Christian, you know God already warned us about that. Here’s what the Bible has to say about the mind – heart connection.
Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
- Garbage in- Garbage out. I need to make a conscious effort to NOT fill my mind with the undiluted terrors of a 24 hour news cycle. I had Paul take the news OFF my home screen.
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. Psalm 101:3
- Today I will put things of value on my radar; my husband, my kids, my friends, and strangers I can love personally.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
- The world will continue to deconstruct until the day of Christ’s return. What am I doing right now to focus on eternal things? Who can I pour into with encouragement and service? I’m only given so much time. I refuse to spend a dime of it today on people who are being used to make money for News/TV networks.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so. Romans 8:5-7
- Today I will NOT get angry with people who are hostile towards God, hostile towards people who love Him, hostile towards my Jesus loving Bible-is-true beliefs–because God’s Words says they don’t understand and they can’t understand spiritual things.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
- Today I will count my blessings. Today I will hug my kids. Today I will kiss my husband A LOT and continue to count my blessings some more.
Focus on Good Things
What you look for you will find. If you log into Facebook you’re going to leave annoyed. I promise. So, why not focus on some good and happy stories instead? I’ve included a few of my favorites that will make your heart light, bring a few giggles and maybe even shed a few happy tears.
We have the ability to choose what will hold us captive. Don’t let the “news” tie your heart in knots. Instead, focus on what the Lord wants you to focus on. Spend a little time with Him and be still and quiet and listen.
Just because the whole world is fearful about stories that flash before their eyes doesn’t mean you have to be. I guess what I’m saying is be different. Be that set-apart people – in a world full of princesses be a hot dog.
Joanne Kraft is a Jesus-loving mom of four who writes books– and a big fan of ice cream, peanut butter and elastic band pants at night.