Hang on.. hang on… okay. I’m done checking Instagram. Sound familiar? It is something that has become a “norm.” Everyone has even found it common courtesy to pause and wait for someone to check a notification on their phone or to pause the show currently being binged on Netflix. So many things have developed in the past 10 years that distract us from interactions with those around us. But what about what they are doing to our relationship with God?
When was the last time that you really took the time to dive into the Word and just be with God for a significant amount of time? Yesterday? Last week? Okay, maybe it was recently. BUT When was the last time that you did that on a consistent basis? We always seem to find time to binge watch TV shows or to scroll through social media. I’m guilty! And I’m not just talking about the social media to interact with followers of the accounts for this blog. I’m talking about my personal accounts that have all of my friends that I haven’t seen in years or pages about my other interests such as vegan living or fitness. You scroll for a couple minutes and somehow… SOMEHOW an hour passes by. Now, mind you, I don’t have kids wanting a snack or to show me their latest barbie doll outfit combination or asking for help with homework.
Now the Bible does talk about the dangers of being distracted. The distractions of that time were different than they are today, obviously. The concept still applies. So grab a pen and your Bible note and jot these down.
‘I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. ‘ 1 Corinthians 7:35
‘Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. ‘ Luke 8:7
‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ‘ Romans 12:2
‘Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. ‘ Colossians 3:1-2
My Biggest Distractions
1. Netflix/Prime Video – Wow, can I spend HOURS watching Bones or vegan documentaries or Criminal Minds. I am fascinated by crime shows and my new love of the vegan lifestyle. This can even go into YouTube binge watching as well. I have some YouTubers that I follow that share similar values.
How to get out of this distraction: Instead of watching something you don’t get much value out of, watch a sermon or a talk by a trusted pastor or Bible scholar. Watch the Bible series on Netflix. Sometimes we don’t want to read and that’s okay. Limit yourself to watching one or two episodes of your shows you binge and do so only AFTER you watch something to deepen your relationship with God.
2. Facebook/Instagram/Twitter – Now, I’ve gotten better with limiting myself to using these platforms to connect with other believers and to share my blog, but it still is a distraction. These platforms aren’t bad, they just can get out of hand pretty quickly.
How to get out of this distraction: Download a Bible app on your phone. (I use YouVersion as said in the digital Bible study tools post.) We spend most of our time on these social media platforms while using our phones so instead of continuing the habit of selecting these other apps, select the the Bible and maybe copy a verse and post it on your platforms AFTER you spend some time in the Word. Another app that I have found helpful is the First5 app by Proverbs 31 Ministries. The point is to spend the first five minutes of the day in the Word and reading some insights. Both the apps YouVersion and First5 allow for notifications to remind you. The First5 app actually has an alarm you can use for waking up in the morning.
3. Books – I love reading despite my loathing of it when I was younger. I mainly read non-fiction and Bible study style books. The current book I’m reading is “Love Life Again” by Tracie Miles which you can find here. As much as these kinds of books can help us understand the Bible more, it is beneficial for us to do our own study as well. A while back, I did a couple posts about tools I use for studies. They were paper and digital. These can help you get started. I’m not saying ditch those other books completely, but I am encouraging you to venture into the Bible on your own and do some research.
How to get out of this distraction: Keep a hard copy and digital version of the Bible handy. Maybe keep one in your desk at work or in the car. When you want to read your book, maybe read a chapter in the Bible first
I do need to take my own advice. Like I said, I’m guilty just as many else are. I’m hoping to create a mailing list soon so I can send out small weekly assignments that will go along with my posts to help encourage you to get into the Word. As some may have noticed, I’m finally getting more consistent with this whole blogging thing. I’m hoping once I feel confident in a schedule, weekly email encouragement will become more than just a lightbulb in my head.
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