Take a brief break from all the bad stuff

Bad stuff is everywhere, and you don’t even need to leave your living room to see it.

Watch ten minutes of primetime tonight, or scroll through what’s new on Netflix, or browse the Internet.

You’ll see it.

If you leave home, you’ll see it out there too.

Glance at the magazines in the check-out line, go see one of the movies that opened Friday night, listen to your peers talk in the break-room or the locker room.

It’s a messy world.

Crude humor, illicit sex, vulgarity, smut, dishonesty, superficiality.

It surrounds us, and I don’t think I’m overstating it.

You’ve probably felt yourself being affected by it.

Maybe you’ve gotten sick of the constant stream of gossip and profanity that you can’t seem to escape.

Maybe you’ve felt yourself getting sucked into the negativity and hopelessness of the people you work with or go to school with or even live with.

Maybe you’re just tired of it all, ready for a break from sin’s bombardment.

There are tons of reasons why we desperately need to take time every day to commune with the Lord, but this is definitely high on the list.

We need to get away from the garbage for awhile so God can get us ready to be his light in a dark place.

I think that’s what Paul’s talking about here:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).

We can’t run away from the sinful world, of course, but it’s important for us to put a filter on our hearts.

It’s hard to live how we ought to live and think how we ought to think when we face a daily barrage of ungodliness.

Make up your mind to take time to focus on the good and limit how much you’re exposed to the bad.

In your devotional time today, enjoy being in the presence of God, the Ultimate Good. Love him. Enjoy him. Talk to him.

Ask him to fill your heart with truth, honor, justice, purity, and loveliness.

Ask him to focus your heart on what is commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Maybe you’ll have only 10 or 15 minutes, or perhaps you can take an hour or more

But take some time.

Then you’ll go back to the real world, and you’ll be better equipped to face what you’ve got to face.

One day, of course, the Lord will come back to get us . . . and then we’ll be surrounded by everything that’s good—and only what is good—for eternity.

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