During this pandemic season, people are ingesting more news. Pick any hot topic and you will find a plethora of opinions and even more divisiveness and hatred in social media comments. “I don’t think the politicization of Evangelicals is driven from the pulpit by pastors- it’s led and fed by cable news. Pastors have the people for one hour each week – cable news has them every day.” Rich Stearns, via Twitter,
News: Discipling or Detrimental?
Is the news discipling you? Or are you being filled with hopelessness, anger, and anxiety? Research shows that the more one consumes social media and news the higher levels of anxiety that a person has. While anxiety is a real problem there is another one Christians should be mindful of…distraction. Distraction is more than an attention stealer. For a Christian, distraction takes your eyes off the most important thing, your first love, Jesus. Distraction is the mechanism that gives life to deception.
When Peter walks on water, he loses faith and sinks because he becomes distracted by the waves. He was deceived into believing the power of the waves was greater than the one walking on them. Martha was often distracted by her work (Luke 10:38, John 11). She was deceived into believing that the work she could do for Jesus defined her instead of what Jesus believed about her. She was already accepted and loved. Jesus just wanted to be with her. Both of them had good intentions but their intentions did not stop them from failing. They became distracted and deceived, falling into sin.
When Are Focus Shifts From God
Sin is anything done without faith (Romans 14:23). When we become distracted by the world our focus shifts away from Jesus. We end up living on our own strength. We sin without even realizing it. Maybe we have good intentions to watch the news. Perhaps we want to stay informed, to learn, and to grow in light of all that is going on and to know how we can help. These are all great but as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. God requires faith. Faith is simply resting in his saving grace. It’s not work, it’s a laying down of self, the act of surrender and trust. Life as a Christian looks like a child-like trust and rest. The Bible calls this being spirit-led.
Paul talks about being spirit-led in his letter to the Galatians. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) Next time you are watching the news or scrolling through social media or writing comments, check yourself. Are you living by His leading? Or are you distracted, frustrated, and filled with anxiety and anger trying to gratify the desires of the enemy? “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Let The Spirit Lead You, Not The News
How do you know if you are being led by the Spirit? You produce good fruit, naturally. Producing good fruit is not a command it is a sign of who you are. A yielded life, filled with self-control, empowers you to engage in news and controversial topics with a clear mind and heart, where love is center and his peace is present. Distractions lead to deception but Jesus has equipped you to live by faith and walk on waters. When you fall, there is no condemnation, Jesus is there holding you, telling you to get back up and continue walking.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” (Galatians 5:24-26)
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Start your day together with God and the GOD TV team. Get a daily devotional and encouraging 2-3minute video direct to your inbox.Join today