Here we are again—the last Monday of the month—Love Your Body Like God Loves Your Body Monday! If you’re on social media, or watch any kind of news or talk shows, you’ve probably noticed an undercurrent of anxiety and anger. It’s actually been going on for several years, during the election cycle. Last October, I wrote a post Love Your Body: Why Are We So Angry? where I talked about how to overcome the Election Stress Disorder so many people were experiencing. We might have expected things to settle down and everyone to get back to normal after the inauguration this past January. But with daily news of protests and riots, newscasters continually stirring up fear and strife 24/7, the great divide between the liberal left and conservative right creating division in friends and family . . . the anger and angst is taking its toll on the American public.
So how are you doing? Are you experiencing any of these symptoms?
- High blood pressure?
- Weight gain or loss?
- Uneasiness or anxiety?
- Misplaced Anger?
I have to admit, I’ve experienced some of these symptoms myself as I’ve been in the heat of the spiritual battle, but the Lord has helped me identify when I’m letting Satan’s “world” invade my space instead of me invading the world for God’s Truth. Christians champion most of the conservative right agenda, but since this world is not our final home, we must remember that our true allegiance is to Jesus Christ.
We’re not on the “right” side or the “left” side; we’re on Christ’s side!
Look at that list of symptoms above. None are from God! Yes, you can experience anger, but notice I said “misplaced” anger. That means you find yourself easily angered and acting irrationally at your spouse, the kids, the dog, your friend, your social media “friend,” the television, the media . . . yourself when you forget something or make a mistake.
Conservatives should be rejoicing as they watch platform issues they voted for checked off their “wish list.” But instead, many find themselves trying to figure out why they’re not happier.
Last week, I wrote about Fake News Trumps Good News. It’s hard today to turn on the news and hear anything positive. Even those “checked off” items are twisted and turned into bad news so many people don’t feel victory or happiness because they’re still in the defend-and-justify mode. Peace doesn’t even come in victory. Satan wins whether they win or lose.
Hmmm . . . we need to do something about that or our bodies will pay the price. And yes, I’m speaking to myself too because I intend to stay in the spiritual battle, and I hope you will too. Many have thanked me for my bold stand as a “voice in the wilderness.” But as I said in “Taking the Gospel Viral,” the opening article of February’s About His Work Ministries Newsletter, the original voice in the wilderness, John the Baptist, ended up with his head on a platter.
Here are several suggestions that help me stay strong for God in a world that is not God-friendly, while keeping peace in my mind, body, and soul. I hope they will help you too:
- Pray the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 every morning.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
- Join a Bible study group. We need to be among like-minded people who study God’s Word and pray together for our country and for each other. It isn’t enough to just go to church on Sunday or even to have our own time with the Lord. Both are essential, but being a Christian requires—yes I said requires—being around other Christians who can build us up, let us know when we’re off track, pray for us, and remind us that we’re in the world but not of the world. Many people don’t think they need small groups, but they probably suffer from some of the symptoms I listed above. There are many verses to support this kind of fellowship . . .
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20
- Don’t watch the news, engage in social media, or watch NCIS-type or disturbing graphic murder programs in the evening before bed. If you find your heart racing or angry, don’t watch them anytime.
Troubling news, social media, graphic pictures, and dialogue stay in your mind and can disrupt your sleep. The injustice in some programs haunts me. I’ll give you an example. At the end of last season, we were watching a new program, Designated Survivor with Kiefer Sutherland, about a terrorist attack on Washington killing the President and almost everyone on Capitol Hill. Sutherland, the HUD Director, was the next living person in line to become president. The program is full of deceit, lying, espionage, people and the media trying to take the new president down, and the viewer is privy to all of this . . . much like real life today. When we watched this program, my heart raced and I felt anxious. I finally told my husband I couldn’t take it anymore! In my downtime, I need to do something relaxing and refueling, especially before bed. Not watch something that leaves me anxious, unsettled, upset, and mentally exhausted. I would imagine you do too.
- Don’t listen to naysayers and remove yourself from unpleasant situations. We live in a cynical world. In last week’s blog, I posted how Melania Trump introduced President Trump by praying the Lord’s Prayer. Immediately, the liberal media and many on the left criticized her. But she said in advance to her opponents, “I will stay true to myself.” I would add, always stay true to God. And no matter what happens . . . be joyful that you’re pleasing Him . . . even if that angers others. Don’t internalize the anger of others.
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-9
Like Mrs. Trump, I’ve also had others criticize, misconstrue, or take out of context something I’ve done or said. Or I’ve been in the middle of a firestorm where I’ve had to say, “Enough! I can’t do this anymore!”
So Finally, brothers and sisters fill our minds with, 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. Philippians 4:8
- We’ve talked a lot about exercise on Love Your Body Mondays. It always gets the endorphins going and clears my mind of negativity. It’s also a great time to pray and talk to God because . . .
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
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