On Sunday, I realized that I have been feeling kind of low – not exactly depressed but certainly discouraged. When I am not at work or out running or hiking, I am unmotivated and uninspired. I have not written a new blog post for more than a month. All I seem to want to do is read news stories on social media. And I think that is the problem. When I read too much about what is going on in the world, I worry about the state of our country. I am disgusted by the propaganda and hatefulness but there is little that I can do about it.
In church this week, my pastor started a new sermon series on the Holy Spirit. He said that we all have a spirit though many people suppress it. The nonreligious allow the body, emotions, and mind/will to dominate the spirit. But for those of us who have been given the Holy Spirit as a guide, the Spirit can transform the other parts of us.
The sermon could not have come at a better time for me. I am not at peace. I let myself worry too much about politics. I hate what is evil, as I should. I certainly don’t want to become complacent or ignorant but I can’t let my spirit be overcome by the wickedness I see. Too often, I let myself be tempted into reading the comments below the articles I read – and find a cesspool of insults and untruths. There I get a glimpse into the hearts of the worst sorts of people, many of them claiming to be Christians. It’s like watching a train wreck.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Today, I am committing myself to spiritual renewal. Instead of plugging into the power of social media, I will plug into the power of the Spirit.
With the words of Romans 12 as my guide, I will put love into action:
I will cling to what is good
I will be joyful in hope
I will live in harmony with others
I will be patient with others
I will be kind
I will be humble
I will share with those in need
I will be faithful in prayer
I will not repay evil with evil
I will not let my spirit be overcome by evil, but will overcome evil with good.
Romans 8:5-6 (NIV)
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.