Tag Archives: worry

Sifting Through Social Media Opinions

When I was a kid, I often watched my Mom bake bread. One part of the process I really thought was neat was when she dumped the clean pure bleached flour through a sifter.  I asked her, Mom, if the flour is already clean pure and bleached then why do you need to put it through the sifter? She said, “It makes the flour lighter and it blends better.  Plus, it removes any potential non-palatable hunks, chunks, or impurities.  When it comes to baking a “Great” loaf of bread, I never assume the machinery that spits out the finished product is flawless.”

Wow! What a lesson. Today, I think about social media and how it has the potential to produce non-palatable hunks, chunks, and impurities.  Now, I am not attacking it (Social Media); I use it.  At first, I despised social media, I somehow thought I was subject to every opinion I read. News Flash:  I am not and neither are you.

What is an opinion?

Opinion Definition: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

How many opinions do you think you sift through on a daily basis?

How many of those opinions do you understand to be truthful?

Does the act of opinion sifting cause you unnecessary stress, depression, worry, anxiety, and/or fear?

I asked myself these questions as well. And, because I was truthful with myself I discovered just how much the opinions of others, if I let them, attempted to mar my identity.  I then thought about my Mother’s flour sifter. I wondered, how can I sift through the junk, hunks, chunks, and other impurities found in social media?  Then all of a sudden it hit me:

  1. I have the power to question any and all opinions before I accept them as truth.
  2. I have the ability to educate myself on the truth of the matter before I consider absorbing what I have just read or witnessed.
  3. I have the strength to bypass those opinions or comments that in no way uplifts me or any other human being.

Oh yeah! And because I am Christian I can recall the words of the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:8-9):

“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. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

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The Cure for Political Anxiety

(The comments below were spoken by Matt Chandler and Kyle Worley from “The Village Church” in Texas).

The problem with an unhealthy involvement in politics stems from expecting too much from politics, Worley contends.

“If our hope is in Christ and the kingdom of God then we’ll be able to expect from modern politics what it can deliver and not expect more than what it can deliver,” Worley says.

Ultimately, if we’re putting too much hope in the next president rather than Christ and his kingdom, we’re going to be disappointed and disolusioned, the church leaders agree; politics will never be able to deliver the hope that God can.

Chandler adds to this argument, suggesting that Christians can use their “faithful presence” to shape their culture and therefore shape politics.

It’s also important for Christians to remember that ultimately, God is in control of the political process. “The Lord’s at work in this political process,” Chandler says. “He’s not panicked or nervous – He already knows who our next president is.”

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God’s Track Record

Sometimes learning to trust can be hard. I often wonder, why do I project the mistrust I have of certain people upon God? He’s never left me nor forsaken me. When am I going to realize that faith in God is an unbridled and bareback ride through the wilderness, with no concern of what’s over the next rise. If I believe and have faith God is with me on this side of the hill, then by faith I can believe God is on the other side waiting for me just the same. Having unbridled faith in God is a sign of complete trust in God. God can’t work in and through me if I don’t or won’t trust him completely. How can I know he is trustworthy? In Psalm 22:4 King David tells me, “Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.” Wow! With a track record like God’s I have no cause for distrust.

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“When our thoughts are anywhere but here and now, we are merely chasing shadows.” (Quote by Author Patricia Spadaro)

As a Christian vessel impacted by God’s Graciousness I often wonder why sometimes Joy escapes me. At times I feel like a bathtub whose rubber stopper gets pulled right before the warm water of joy reaches the full line. Usually, it’s either worry or doubt that pulls the plug. To confirm which one it is I pray like this, “Lord what hinders me from being filled and overflowing with Joy?” After the prayer I immediately still my mind, relax, and listen for the Holy Spirit. I have to remind myself: shortness of time, and concerns of the past or future cannot fill my thoughts or focus is lost. Upon reminding myself I make the commitment to listen and expect an answer. That’s when the Holy Spirit speaks. On this occasion he said, “James, you are meant to be a vessel filled with joy overflowing.  However, there are times I see “worry” get the best of you. Jesus discussed the antidote to worry in his gospel (Matt. Chap 6:25-34). The antidote, he said, is to train your focus on ‘first God’s kingdom and what God wants’ not on you and what you want.  Remember, worry is a by-product of selfishness, whereas joy is a fact of selflessness.” As His voice subsides, and with a stilled mind I interpret his words and discover: Worry comes when I focus inward upon myself, my wants, and my desires. Worry is quelled when I focus completely on God’s will, God’s wants, God’s desire for me, and Christ’s ways. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own” said Christ.  Reminds me of the old hymn “One Day at a Time.”

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