Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. YouTube. Online blogs. 24-hour news. Cable television. The internet.
Would it be safe to say that the 1st century church lived in a simpler culture?
Would it also be fair to assume that our constant access to unlimited information has been a bit of a “game changer?” I think that we would all agree that there are both positive and negative elements to this glut of information that we are constantly exposed to.
Positively, we have access to some amazing forms of communication, networking, and entertainment. We are in a position to know exactly what is happening on the other side of the world in real time, which allows us opportunities that we would not otherwise have. We are able to stay in contact with friends who live hundreds/thousands of miles away through online forms of communication. As Christians, we have brand new ways to carry out God’s mission for His Church, and we should be taking full advantage of them!
There are also some negative aspects of this current information-rich culture that we are living in. If you are on Facebook, you probably understand that the constant negativity that pops up on your newsfeed can be discouraging. The things that we see, hear, and take into our minds can have a cumulative impact that no one in the 1st century would have dealt with. The news – as informative as it can be – is also a source of frustration, disappointment and heartbreak. It is one thing to be aware of the tragedies that are happening in your own community; it is quite another thing to be aware of the tragedies all over the world. Depending on your personality and mental/emotional makeup, it can be a daunting thing to know that much.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Mt. 6:34
What does this mean? In context, Jesus is discussing anxiety; He is encouraging people to focus on the “kingdom of God and His righteousness” and to take things one day at a time. Why would Jesus say this? Jesus was an integral part of creating human beings (Jn. 1:1ff); He knows how we “tick,” and He knows that we can only take so much into our minds before we “overload.”
Is it possible that you and I might be inviting anxiety into our lives?
You may be the type of person who can handle watching the news every night, following the political ups-and-downs of our country, and scrolling through Facebook 10 times a day without struggling with some version of depression or anxiety. If you can do all of this while raising your family, maintaining a personal relationship with the Lord, and seeking to reach the lost in your world with the Gospel, you are blessed.
So I try to follow Jesus’s philosophy on life, and all of its modern implications. As much as I enjoy the access to information, sometimes it is appropriate to turn it off.
Are you overloaded? It might be time for you to turn something off.
It’s ok. It will be there tomorrow.