And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (NLT)
We live in an information saturated age. We have so much access to news and issues. We are invited to evaluate or form opinions on so many things. Our heads can be filled with so much that we can go into overload.
It does not have to be like this. Do we need to listen to every newscast, read every online or print article? Do we need to form a conclusive opinion on all the issues confronting us? To be sure we need to keep in touch with what is happening in our world, but we do need to decide what we need to know and what can best be put aside. Otherwise we risk being overwhelmed.
And so much of what we hear or read is negative or critical or threatening. We don’t blame the various media for that: they are only reporting what is happening. We, however, take responsibility for how much of all this we need to know and how much is helpful rather than harmful.
Our text reminds us to focus on what is good and admirable, and not a lot of that is in our various news outlets. It doesn’t mean we bury our head in the sand and ignore what is not good or admirable. It means we may have to shift focus, to practise a bit of self censorship. We need to acknowledge the darkness and yet choose not to live in it.