You know you’ve done something wrong when it is 8 AM and you are already feeling stressed!
That was me earlier this week - tense muscles, clenched jaw, and racing heart - all before the workday even started. The culprit was not my long "To Do" list or my concern about an upcoming phone call. The stressor was my smartphone! More specifically, what I do on my smartphone - the fruit produced from my finger doing the social media scroll.
I’ve developed the habit of taking a quick scroll through social media before the workday begins.
The desire to stay connected through social media is real. What’s going on with my adult kids? Who could use a word of encouragement in my online support group? Did my friend post a photo of her new grandchild? What is today’s devotional from my favorite Christian organization? Connecting with others is a great way to start the day on a positive note!
But this desire, in the absence of some serious evaluation and self-control, has the potential to take my entire workday off course due to distraction and distress. A few undisciplined clicks on a friend’s controversial content can turn my peaceful morning into a politically induced stress mess.
Stop for a moment and think about your last encounter with your social media newsfeed.
What do you come away with?
If I am going to have peaceful mornings that prepare me for a productive day living out my God-given purpose, I’m going to have to do a serious re-evaluation and reorganization of my social media newsfeed! And this is especially true right now as just about every topic is politicized as we draw closer to Election Day.
In a recent article, Joe Heschmeyer encourages all believers to check the fruit of our actions related to social media participation. He suggests that we all ask ourselves two good questions:
1. How do the people I follow speak and act? Are they doing it with enmity and anger? Or are they marked by a spirit of joy, peace, and patience?
2. What am I like after I read or watch their stuff? Does it fill me with love and a spirit of kindness? Or do I have the hallmarks of outrage addiction and the works of the flesh?
And, if I may, I’d like to another question to his list:
3. What has more of my attention - information and opinions spoken through social media or wisdom spoken through the Word of God?
Wise King Solomon reminded us how much people love to express their thoughts through the communication medium of the day! And while the writings of others have value, they can leave us distracted, weary and distressed, if not kept in the proper perspective.
The sayings of the wise are like the sharp sticks that shepherds use to guide sheep, and collected proverbs are as lasting as firmly driven nails. They have been given by God, the one Shepherd of us all.
My child, there is something else to watch out for. There is no end to the writing of books, and too much study will wear you out. After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for.
(Ecclesiastes 12:11-12 GNT)
Good Health for Good Works Challenge: Take your finger on a quick, but intentional, scroll through your social media newsfeed and examine the fruit.
As we seek to fulfill our God-given purpose, let’s become good stewards of the gift of social media in the interest of peaceful and productive days!
If the employees or volunteers in your Christian organization could use some strategies for minimizing stress and maximizing peaceful productivity, please contact me.
About the author:
Ginger Hill is a Christian wellness speaker, coach and consultant and the founder of Good Health for Good Works where she helps the earnest, but often exhausted, workers in Christian organizations to take steps toward healthier living so they can fulfill their organization's mission with energy, excellence and endurance.
Psalm 92:12,14 (NLT)
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