Wednesday, May 4, 2022

I'm surrounded by wonderful people who use their minds to think differently. In the Spring of 2020 when  COVID-19 hit the U.S., many people were throwing dance parties to deal with the negativity that was in the world. One friend noticed the trend and thought about her faith. She decided to throw a prayer party with whoever wanted to come and pray with her. I admired her way of thinking. When everyone is doing the same thing our conviction informs us to do something different. 

I know a number of women who could blend in with their surroundings. They are well-to-do, beautiful, and influential. Instead, they decided to put themselves out there and teach the Bible, verse-by-verse to women in their community. I've seen their faithfulness to the truth of Scripture when many people compromise. Everyone is doing the same thing but their conviction informed them to do something different. 

Daniel could have blended in. He was exiled as a young man. He ended up in a high position. Blending was expected of him. Too bad Daniel was using his brain:

"But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way." Daniel 1:8 (NIV)

Everyone was doing the same thing but Daniel's conviction informed him to do something different. He also had to stand out several other times in his life and professional career. Biblical conviction, not the culture, informed such decisions.

I've been amazed at how people are not using their minds as God designed the mind to work. People are numb. Digital images and words are influencing their minds, hearts, schedules, and wallets. 

People are blindly following the ways of the world. I am convicted that as we follow Christ, our minds should be ready for His use. 

Before you ask, let me tell you that I've been guilty of not using my mind as God designed it. The first time I realized it, I was in college. 

My professor had just taught us about the advertising industry. Still, I told him that I just couldn't resist those compelling commercials about mascara. He patiently said: "Cintia, those commercials shouldn't affect you because I taught you all about them." 

From that moment on, I never looked at commercials the same way. I couldn't fall into a trap that was right before me. 

The present culture is trying to get you to fall into a trap of mindlessness. You don't have to fall prey to it. You can be like Daniel and resolve not to defile yourself. 

Daniel didn't get his resolve from a magical place. Youths like Daniel, Shadrack, Mishack and Abedenego were students of the word of God. Beyond studying, their delight was in the word. Deuteronomy, one of the books Jesus quoted the most during his life on earth, talks about the importance of knowing and obeying the word of God. 

We live in a culture that minimizes the authority of the Scriptures but that's to be expected. At the end of the day, eveyrone in the culture will be doing the same thing. The wisest thing I can do is to know the words of God so much that they will inform me to do what He is asking me to do. 

Let's make this plain and simple. You can't be on the internet longer than you spend time with God. 

I can see your eyes rolling as you say: "Oh Cintia, that's so hard! It is easier said than done." I agree. Do you know what's harder? To live below the level of abundance that God has for me. 

It may be difficult to decrease social media usage at first but the amount of time you spend in God's word will bear fruit now and for eternity. 

I'm here to encourage you to be smart. Use the mind God has given you. Make sure you spend more time with God than mindlessly browsing social media. 

Remember, everyone is doing the same thing. Our Biblical conviction informs us to do something different.