Negative news = negative thoughts

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It was interesting to listen to the conversation on Jacaranda FM this morning.  They were debating whether watching violent movies could move you to violent behaviour.  I have my opinion and I am sure many will have a different opinion.  But it made me think of something I experienced the last week.

For years I have listened to the news on the radio on the way to work or on the way home.  I like to know what is happening in my world.  But a couple of months ago, I began to read the news on my iPad.  And I started to read more and more news daily.  News24.  Beeld.  Mail and Guardian.  And in between all of that the tweets of people who made it their job to watch what is happening in South Africa.

The more I read about farm murders, the more fearful I became.  The more tweets I read of about the genocide of whites in South Africa, the more paranoid I became.  Every time there is news about Mandela’s health, I hold my breath, fearful of Uhuru.

Finally last week I realised that the news was stealing my joy.  I was no longer happy to be alive, I was afraid of being murdered.  The negative stuff I was reading, was making me negative.  I decided to quit reading the news.  I am back to just the bare basics on radio.  Those that tweet negatively, I have unfollowed.  I am no longer interested in their paranoia.

Suddenly I understood the scripture in Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything,  but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.   And the God of peace will be with you.

I don’t have to be anxious.  I must just rejoice in Jesus.  His peace is far better than the depressing news.  Instead of reading news, I now rather spend more time in the Word, filling myself with the promises of God.

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!

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