The year 2020 has been an exceptionally eventful year. We have been observers to history being made in numerous areas – the global pandemic, politics of the day, and other social issues. And of course, everyone has an opinion on these issues. With the technology of today, everyone has easy, immediate and almost unlimited access to information via broadcast news, online news and social media. Someone famously stated, “information is power”, but I think as believers that an overload of information can be detrimental to our emotional and spiritual well-being. Let me explain…
The recent death of George Floyd while being arrested in Minneapolis has captured the nation’s attention and been the catalyst for numerous demonstrations in multiple cities, some of which have been accompanied by violence. We all want to know the latest developments on all fronts; many have chosen to give voice to their feelings on this situation. The result is that we find ourselves scouring the news outlets and social media for more information, to argue our viewpoint and see the positions of others we know.
Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (NKJV). We as Christians should think of our hearts as a gateway or checkpoint that we guard diligently. What goes into the heart will inevitably come out, in various forms. What does this mean in practical terms?
As a person of color, I know that if I consume too much information about the social injustices of our society, a seed of anger will take root and grow within me. That anger, if unchecked, will come out in my interactions with my fellow citizens, my fellow brethren in Christ, especially those who are white. That same anger, if checked and kept inside, can begin to fester inside and damage me emotionally, physically, and most of all, spiritually. I cannot let anger separate me from my relationship with God.
So part of my mandate from God is to be the guardian of what enters my heart, through the portals of my eyes, ears and brain. I need to “know my limit” of information I can consume before frustration, resentment, pressure and ungodly thoughts start pushing their way to the front. Another part of my mandate is to be an ambassador for Christ; to be the “only Jesus” some people will see. How I conduct myself in challenging times is what will be remembered.
I would ask us all to enlist God’s help in finding the balance between being well-informed, speaking out on pertinent issues, and not allowing negativity or anger to find a foothold within us. As Yoda famously said in the Star Wars movies, “anger leads to the dark side.” Let’s all walk in the Light.