“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4: 8 (NLT)
Ever experienced comparison jealously or smugness from scrolling social media? I know the feeling well: a mixture of feeling connected to someone’s life, knowing what they were doing that evening, what they wore and what they ate, but at the same time disconnected as I haven’t had a face-to-face or honest conversation with them in months.
I knew I had to do something, so I challenged myself to spend some time away from the screens that were so obviously distracting me from more vulnerable, real friendships and also from going deeper with God. I was reluctant; I knew it would be good for me but I kept thinking ‘Can I actually do it?’ I knew deep down I needed to break away from my addiction to TV and from ‘on-screen’ versions of people, where it was only the best, the exaggerated version of people – of myself – shown.
I switched my attention from the screens in my life and focused on being ‘in the moment’, being ‘with’ friends and not being constantly distracted by my phone. I felt so free not checking my phone every few minutes. I spent my evening away from the made-up situations I usually engross myself with on the TV, spending more time with God, reading the Bible and giving myself time to reflect on and be challenged by what I read. Each of these things was refreshing, challenging and rewarding. The best moment that I experienced during my non-screen time was one particular evening when instead of watching TV until late I ended up digging into the book of Romans, where God really spoke to me.
I’ve been challenged to make a choice on what I am to fix my eyes and thoughts on: things that are true, honourable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Do I fix my eyes on the reality of a good God who loves me, loves my brokenness and encourages me to love others in their vulnerability or do I fix my eyes and thoughts on things that are exaggerated, false, unreliable, deceptive, insignificant or undesirable? That’s my choice, our choice, daily.