|Jadyn Noelle Photography|
Let's start with this: We are addictive people by nature. There are so many things to be addicted to these days. Right?
Sometimes it takes giving things up to see how much we are affected by them.
Occasionally I get tired of social media, then realize my angst is funny because I can choose to turn it off. The times I get fed up with it most are when I see adults sharply jabbing each other over their differing opinions on controversial topics. I get queasy over what we're doing, and take a break.
For example, there was a blog from a mom nicely correcting girls on a topic some need to be corrected on. (I'm not going to refer to it because I don't want to jump in the melee). Facebook blew up with her blog, and a slew of people hated on her and wrote blogs in protest. (This has happened more than once with different blogs). People I know and respect were on both sides of the argument. Both had valid points. But the spiteful approach is more than I can bear. That makes me slide away from the entire topic and click "logout". I don't want to be a part of that world.
The truth is, I read people I disagree with almost everyday. I read to keep an open mind and to hear perspectives other than mine- to gain insight, to keep informed, to understand. Never have I been tempted to leave a mean comment on a blog or an article. I'm choosing to read their article and their perspective- if I don't like it, I can choose to stop reading it, or to write my own perspective in a different place.
We worry about kids being mean to each other, yet there is an online world of adults beating each other up with comments and blog-one-upping. Maybe it takes debaters to save society-(I do see a few meaningful, respectfully-disagreeing debates that are well done), but the hateful stuff, it's just not my style.
Then I think about the opinionated blogs I've written- Am I doing the same thing? Am I contributing? If I write about something I feel strongly about, am I coming across as dissing anyone? I hope not. It honestly makes me not want to write sometimes. I don't always like the online world I see. Can I write about a topic that I believe in, even a topic that may be controversial, without joining this craziness? I hope so. But sometimes I'm not sure.
There are so many articles out there. So much news. SO much information. I think sometimes too much information.
Over Christmas break, I had almost two weeks off, and decided to take a break from social media. I wanted to give my mind a break, and be fully present. It was amazing and liberating. My mind had so much room in it. I realize how much extra time I had. It was a vacation for my mind.
One of the struggles I've had since starting to work full time is figuring out when to have my alone time and when to do Bible study, one of my favorite things (and my lifeline to survival). Over break, during the fast of social media, my focus was Bible study.
Here's what I re-realized: The overload of ideas, information, news and opinions cloud my mind. The Word of God, and God's voice through it, sharpens and focuses me.
The absolute polar opposite effect in me is mind boggling. Cloudy vs. Focused.
Just like overeating- when I stuff myself with any and everything and then feel like a blob, (but at the time it feels good) vs. when I finally take care of my diet and am amazed at how good I feel.
The absolute focus, and the quickness at which it enters, is a relief in this world of so many opinions. For those who may not understand God's Word, it says in Hebrews that He IS the Word, that He's speaking through it to us, that the Word of God is active and alive, cutting through things straight to our hearts where we need it. I feel it. I feel the difference between that and human information.
It doesn't mean we stop reading, writing, or debating for what we believe in. Because here I sit writing a blog that someone may read. And I'm back on social media, in balance. For me, it has to be balanced out with the priority of keeping God's voice clear. His voice and opinion are really the only ones that matter to me.
I want to live sharp and focused, not like a blob of information and opinion.
I want you to live sharp and focused, hearing God's voice above all, even over any little blog I may write giving my opinion on a topic. Dismiss me if you need to, as long as you hear God.
I want to be, and want us all to be, careful what we fill our minds with- informed, but aware of the ultimate truth.
Cloudy vs. Focused- where do you stand today?