How Believers Can Avoid the Undertow of Cultural Negativity

Be vigilant and guard your heart from what you take in from the news media. (Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)

Have you noticed how news stations, magazines and newspapers have become increasingly dark and negative? Their words and tone are filled with corrupting slander, hate and judgment. If you aren't vigilant, it is easy to get sucked into their undertow.

All of my life, I have been a news junkie. Even when I was a child, my parents and I read the Bible daily, ate dinner together and then watched the news. But what was once a relatively lighthearted and informative activity has become little more than an opportunity for the enemy to influence my mindset and attitude negatively. Where at one time I watched the news rather passively, now I remain vigilant in order to avoid giving the enemy a foothold.

I've learned from experience that our thoughts become our attitudes, our attitudes become our words, and our words reinforce our bad attitudes and thoughts. It's a vicious cycle that the devil loves to trap us in. He magnifies even the slightest problem to influence our thoughts, attitudes and words away from the Word of God. No TV show or form of entertainment is worth that risk. No relationship is either, for that matter.

Every day, we have the opportunity to be affected by a hate-filled news story, someone else's bad attitude or rude words. To keep our minds and hearts steadfast on the gospel, our prayer should be the same as that of the psalmist David, who said, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer" (Ps. 19:14).

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Then, as we go about our day, Philippians 4:8 tells us how we should respond when we encounter negativity of any kind:

"Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things."

Now that we have accepted Christ and become new creatures in Him, we are called to have the same mind and attitude that He had (see Phil. 2:5, NLT). Keep your thoughts on the positive things the Lord is doing, and you won't have an issue keeping negativity out of your mind.

This is part of what David meant when he wrote, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Ps. 119:11, MEV). The more our minds and hearts are filled with God's truth and His Spirit, the less inclined we will be to entertain destructive thought patterns.

It is time that as Christians we let the words of our mouths bless our neighbors, our nation and our God. May we strive to "let no unwholesome word proceed out of [our] mouth, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the listeners" (Eph. 4:29). Instead of always asking God to bless America, may we pray that America would begin to bless God.

You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you.

Have a great week!

Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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