I attend several conferences each year and one of the things I try to do at a conference is to turn off my social media, email, and news.
I do this so I can focus on what is being taught at the conference and also so I can focus on making contacts with … oh, what do they call them? Oh, yeah. People.
It has been a very effective strategy but there was a side benefit I hadn’t considered.
At the end of the conference, I felt better than when I arrived. I was happier. I was enjoying meeting people. And I wasn’t bothered by the latest pronouncements of journalists, politicians, and strange people on social media.
Not hearing all the noise — which is a kind term for it — that I routinely let into my brain at home was sometimes the best part of a conference.
I grant you when I returned home I had to deal with hundreds of emails sitting in my inbox but it was always well worth the price. As for the social media and news, I never missed it at all.
Which brings me to another tip God has given us for how to live life well.
Control What You Think About
One of the most important things you can do if you wish to live a peaceful life is to choose carefully what you think about.
That’s not hiding your head in the sand and pretending nothing bad is happening in the world around you.
It’s choosing to make intentional, good choices about what you listen to, watch, read, and think about.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Philippi …
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)
Consider the last week of your life.
Maybe you should grab a piece of paper and a pencil and write down what you chose to think about this past week.
How much time did you spend thinking about what was true?
How much time did you spend thinking about what was honorable?
How much time did you spend thinking about what was just?
How much time did you spend thinking about what was pure?
How much time did you spend thinking about what was lovely?
How much time did you spend thinking about what was commendable?
How much time did you spend thinking about what was excellent?
How much time did you spend thinking about what was praiseworthy?
And it’s God’s definition of true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy — not the world’s definition.
To know God’s definition, you’re going to have to read His Word — the Bible.
And that might be the start for you as you seek to apply this “tip” from God on how to live life well this next week.
Do you want to have a peaceful life even in a world that is crumbling?
Choose what you spend your time thinking about.
Here’s a thought from the Psalmist.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
I pray that will be true for you this coming week.