Are you up for a challenge? How about a fast? It’s not quite the Lenten season — it begins March 6 this year — but we can go ahead and start warming up now.
My challenge to you for February is to fast from the cable news networks — all of them.
Why? To give our blood pressures a break and to remember who we really are.
February is the month of love so I’m challenging Alabama Baptists and all who are reading this to intently focus on the love of Christ and actually love like Christ during the month. We can’t do that if we are constantly seething with frustration.
Stay informed and updated on the news of the day — that is important for sure — but find ways to do it without getting riled up in anger.
When TV or radio personalities share headlines, in-depth reports and featured spotlights with raised voices, emotional overtones and opinions rather than straight facts, then they have stepped out of news reporting and into editorializing.
Consuming editorialized information in bite sizes isn’t a problem in and of itself, but overdosing on it without a solid break can affect us much more than we realize.
What if we could read or hear the news old-school style? Just the facts, no spin, no interpretation based on personal agendas and political posturing.
What if we could go back to finding out what happened overnight each morning and then getting a recap of what happened during the day that night?
Granted we now live in a 24/7 breaking news culture and demands are high for up-to-the-minute news. We at TAB understand and work to keep up with that expectation as well. Still I’m convinced it doesn’t have to change our hearts in the process.
The world needs hope and those of us who know the answer to that hope need to be focusing on showing others why they would want to embrace it. That requires attention and love.
Take me up on the challenge and see what happens. See if you can tell a difference in your spirit. Are you calmer and more patient without cable news networks? Do you show more grace and love as natural reactions? Are you less aggressive in your behaviors and able to enjoy more of your day?
It’s possible you won’t see many changes and that’s OK too. That may mean you are able to sift through the content presented appropriately and make informed decisions without it ruining your day.
But anything that distracts us from striving to be more like Christ and convinces us it is OK to be mean-spirited should concern us.
During the fast, consider trading the time you would have spent consuming cable news content for reading the Bible. You might also spend time talking to your family and friends about what’s going on with them personally rather than hashing out the latest political headlines together.
Think of the tremendous difference we could make in only one month of prioritizing our options and choosing love.