For several months, many American’s, certainly not all, have been discussing the election. It is my intention to ask a different question, what is it that has your focus now? This question is about our spiritual and mental well-being, sometimes called self-care. As for me, I no longer watch the news, as it is a very negative source. I also have curbed my Facebook time. I have friends who represent varying political opinions, and the incessant arguing seems to have no end. It has become extremely unhealthy to sift through my Facebook feed, as more than half of it is political wrangling. I have deliberately joined two nature groups, which has considerably reduced the negativity, but not eliminated it.
Two verses, both addressed to Timothy, have my current focus. “Avoid (or shun) empty talk, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly” ( 2 Timothy 2:16) and, “Meditate on these things; give yourself ENTIRELY to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15). A proverb says, “Be careful what you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23). In other words, whatever occupies our thoughts is the rudder of our boat! A picture is worth a thousand words, because what we has our attention molds us. Paul used this imagery, “And all of us, beholding the Lord’s glory are continually being transformed into the Lord’s image” ( 2 Corinthians 3:18).
I believe in the 1st Amendment right to free speech, but if it owns us (and it has me), it becomes a runaway freight train. The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, came to the realization that EVERYTHING on this earth is vanity. In other words, most of life is a distraction to our real purpose. Every generation aspires to change their world. Solomon tried everything to change his world. Solomon is considered the richest king to have ever lived. Gold was so prevalent that silver had no value (1 Kings 10:21). He constructed ornate buildings and elaborate gardens. He had more than any king could want, even a thousand different bed partners, and he concluded that it was a total waste of time! Solomon concluded that only one thing mattered, “Remember your Creator.” Here is the secret to soul health. Whatever we do, do it as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:17). The focus of our lives and efforts should be to remember where we originated from and who is really our Lord.
What has our attention is the wrong question, it is really Who. Who is the Master of our ship? If politics and the news has our primary focus, we are out of balance, and we are not healthy (myself, most recently, included). If we wish to walk in the Spirit, then it requires a different focus. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5, my paraphrase). If you and I could tally what our minds were most engaged in, how would it all add up?