Over the past few months, I’ve been becoming sensitive to negative content bombarding my senses via social media, television, everywhere. And by negative content, I mean things like:
- images and memes that focus on how selfish or mean or insensitive OTHER people are being
- videos of violent or horrific situations that are posted and reposted almost meaninglessly across social media
- depressing news that’s replayed on the television over and over again.
I’m beginning to tune out those messages.
And it’s not because I don’t want to be aware of what’s going on in the world.
It’s because I don’t want my outlook on life to be shaped and twisted by the darkness around me.
I want to be able to maintain a perspective that is hopeful and determined and grateful, instead of pessimistic and bitter and fatalistic.
Do you understand what I mean?
We can be concerned and pray about the darkness and bad news and the awful things happening around us. And we should be praying about and trying to help in those situations as much God gives us the opportunity.
But I believe that if we keep ingesting only the dark, gloomy, everybody-is-out-to-get-me things, after a while the only thing that we’ll see when we look at the world around us, is DARKNESS.
We’ll see problems with no hope, riddles with no answers, meaninglessness with no fulfilment.
That dark, gloomy vision of the world is NOT the whole truth.
The truth is, even in a world that’s full of evil and seems to be succumbing to evil more and more each day, God is still here and God is still God. He is still a good God, a God of love, and a God of justice.
He still gives us hope and a reason to live and power to overcome and grace to persevere through trials and difficult, dark circumstances.
He still gives us the opportunity to take the adversities we’re experiencing and turn them around into real-life stories that can encourage others around us that they, too, can overcome.
I’m challenging myself this week and I’m inviting you to join me in this exercise. Every day I’ll be asking myself this question:
What is shaping my perspective?
I’m examining the things I’m listening to, watching and reading by asking:
- Is it truthful, uplifting, inspiring, motivating, thought-provoking, or even light-hearted and amusing in a wholesome way?
- Or is it depressing, hopeless, dark, or cynical?
I’ll be using the perfect Scripture verse as the standard: