I try to support other writers and offer fresh voices to this blog. My guest today, Joel S. Syder, identifies the top distractions to our Christian faith and tells how to avoid them.
Religion is an important aspect of many of our lives, and faith can do wonders to heal and guide us. Christians naturally want to feel closer to God and focus all their attention and love towards Him, but that’s easier said than done in today’s world of distractions and short attention spans. It can sometimes be difficult to get back from those distractions to our place of spirituality and faith. Haven’t you had your mind wander during a church service? I know I have. I’ve gotten halfway through a prayer when I realized that my thoughts weren’t with Him but were, instead, on something else entirely.
In reality, we all live busy lives, and we can struggle to stay focused even on what matters most. We might even find ourselves avoiding religion because we start to associate it with guilt and failure.
In this post, I’ll break down the top distractions I’ve found in my own life in hopes I can help you avoid or handle them so you can return more quickly to the peace that God has promised.
This is perhaps the primary distraction and the hardest one to ignore and control, because it’s everywhere. We get magazines and newspapers in our mailboxes, advertisements on our commutes and on television, and everything available on the Internet (which is right on our cell phones). This can be a major distraction, causing us to turn our attention away from God. The media can be loud, depressing, and disruptive to our lives, focused only on our consumer culture. As per Francesca Campelli, a social worker at Write My X and Brit Student, “It exists to grab and hold our attention, and most of it is successful. We are often tempted to forgo our prayer time and turn instead to a lighthearted video or song.”
To handle this, set clear limits on yourself. Instead of banning all media from your life, restrict the amount of time you spend with your biggest distraction, whether it’s TV, newspapers, video games, or your own mobile phone or computer. We can’t remove all media from our lives completely, but we can control how much of our lives we give to them, so we still have space for God.
At the end of the day, prayer will revitalize and energize you more than TV or music ever will.
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
This is also a tough distraction because the world is so materialistic now. Everything we see is about getting the new gadget or product, and that allure is often hard to resist. When we feel ourselves getting too driven by consumerism, we need to take a deep breath and a step back to make sure we’re not just being driven by a competitive mentality or comparing what we have with others.
Every time I think I want a new product, I try to ask myself if I really need it or if it would just be nice to have. Could the value I think I’ll get from it be found in a more spiritual manner? As explains Olivia Goodison, a spiritual counsellor at 1Day2Write and Next Coursework, “This is hard if you have children especially, because they tend to want all the toys that the other kids have and don’t always understand the word no. Instead, focus on replacing material goods with family experiences and keep the clutter out of your home.”
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
We have a lot of worries, from our children and their future to financial concerns to health worries. The environment, wars, poverty—there’s a lot to worry about and there’s so much information out there that just magnifies our worries. Instead of letting worries consume and distract you, release them to God. Pass your worries onto Him and trust Him to find the answers in His own time.
These concerns are much too major for us, so worrying won’t help. We will only feel more stressed, tired, and sad without lowering the world’s suffering. If we pass these concerns on to God, who can heal the hurts and right the wrongs, it will only bring us closer to Him.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Joel S. Syder, guest blogger
Membership assistant and writer for Assignment Help and PhD Kingdom , Joel Syder is passionate about helping others improve their mental and spiritual health. He studies different methods for meditation, prayer, and getting in touch with your inner self and shares them with his readers at Academic Brits .