Hello, friend! Welcome to my blog, and I hope you’re doing well! Last week, we talked about the distractions that hinder our Christian lives, and I challenged you to try and cut back your usage of time-wasting things such as social media and TV. This week, I’m going to talk about solutions I have figured out during this week to those problems as well as combine it with the passage for Imperishable Inheritance Pt. 5!
Imperishable Inheritance Pt. 5: 1 Peter 4:1-11
If you’d like to read this passage directly, you can click here.
Last Sunday, the pastor at my church preached on this same passage, and he addressed some of the time-wasting things I talked about in my post last Friday. In his message, he talked about reinvesting our lives to better things- such as instead of social media you can call an old friend, or instead of watching TV you can spend more time with your family.
These verses are instructions to the exiled Christians of Peter’s day that tell them how to live, and a lot of it is still applicable for us today. Peter says,
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased to sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.1 Peter 4:1-2
As Christians, we should try to become imitators of Christ and cease sinning and living for sinful passions. I really like the words, “the will of God” because they sound so powerful. Ultimately, it’s God’s will that will be done, not ours, so we should think about our lives and look for ways we can serve God instead of our sinful passions.
Our Worldly Passions
Our worldly and sinful passions may not seem that sinful when we’re doing it. What’s one more TV show? One more movie? Maybe just five more minutes on social media? Ten more on Youtube?
But let me ask you this, how much time do we spend with God every day? How much time do we spend reading the Bible, praying, and reflecting?
After you answer that question, how much time do we spend watching TV or scrolling through social media? How much time do we spend playing games on our phones or computers and watching meaningless Youtube videos?
If you’re like me, the Time-Wasting category probably has a bigger time frame than the Worship and Praise category.
“Now wait,” You may be thinking, “I use TV to relax, are you saying I shouldn’t relax?”
No, we need our periods of relaxation too. But what if our time with God was our relaxing time? What if we no longer looked at TV to ease our minds and distract us from stress but looked at God to reassure and comfort us?
Are we going to continue to keep our eyes fixed on worldly passions? Or are we going to run into our Father’s arms and see that He is better?
I don’t know about you, but I like option number two.
People May Question It
In the next few verses, Peter says to the Christians that the Gentiles might look at them and wonder why they don’t go along with the sinful passions such as “drunkenness” or “lawless idolatry” and they may make fun of them for it.
In the same way, when you back off from doing something sinful with a stranger, friend, or even a family member, they may question you, they may mock you. However, that should not worry you:
But they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.1 Peter 4:5
But remember, Jesus said to pray for your enemies as well (Matthew 5:44), so don’t think that those people that mock you at the moment won’t ever be with God- because of Jesus everyone has a chance to be with Him forever.
Give Up Worldly Passions
Last week I challenged you to experiment with logging out of your social media or turning off the TV for a couple of days. I have been experimenting with that for the past few days too. I limited my time watching TV or Youtube videos, chatting on Discord, and playing video games.
The result? A lot of free time! I had time to read some classics, read the Bible more, and really just think about things. I also have been going to bed nearly an hour earlier because I’m not staying up to watch Youtube or chat online late into the night.
Some of you, though, may have tried last week but weren’t as successful. That’s okay! In this article I’m going to give you some pointers I’ve learned myself.
So how did I do it?
Let me just say this, two is better than one. Around the time I was writing my article for last week, I messaged my friend and explained what I wanted to do, and she decided to set similar goals with me. Since we talk so frequently we gave each other updates about how we were doing with our goals and just held each other accountable in a friendly way.
So, step one for giving up worldly passions is:
Find a Friend
That friend can be a parent, sibling, son, daughter, another family member, best friend- anyone who you think would be willing to attempt this with you, just ask them. Explain your intentions and if you want, you can even point them to this article to prove your point!
After you find a friend, the next step is:
Set Your Goals
When setting goals, also keep in mind what you can do to replace the passion you want to get rid of with something else. For example, when you think to open your phone to social media, decide at that moment you’re going to go pray. When you reach for the remote to the TV, use that action to direct yourself to some Bible study instead.
If you’re worried about forgetting and starting to do these things anyway, maybe try turning off the notifications for your social media. Another handy trick is to move the app away from its usual place on your phone screen and onto another page. That way, when you open your phone to go click on the app, you’ll think a little more when you’re looking for it. You’ll ask, “Why is it over here? Oh, wait…” and stop what you’re doing in an instant.
Once you have your goals in mind, write them down somewhere and then share them with your friend. That way you both know what the other is aiming for, and you can help encourage them. It’s also helpful if your friend has some similar goals, that way you can empathize with him/her when they’re struggling to know what to do.
And my favorite step, step three:
Find Your Free Time
About a day into your goals, you might realize the amount of free time you have all of a sudden. And you can not only use that time for more worship and praise to God, but you can also do some more enjoyable activities. Such as taking walks outside or reading more books. Maybe you’ve been wanting to try out some skill or art and haven’t had the chance to, and now you do!
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.1 Peter 4:7-9
We’ve covered a lot in this post, so let’s recap:
- 1 Peter 4 tells us that we should do things for the will of God, not our sinful passions.
- People may mock us for not going along with them, and you should still love and care for them, but ultimately God will judge.
- Find a friend to give up your passions with.
- Set your goals together.
- Find your free time!
I hope you have at least found one thing helpful in this article, and that it has inspired you to try setting some goals of your own! To end it off, here’s a song that can remind us that the Lord is better.
Thanks so much for joining me today as we connected the Bible with some of our modern-day distractions! If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my email list to receive three exclusive articles, notifications when I post, and my monthly newsletter. You can subscribe by clicking to the home page of the blog and entering your email in the form. Let me know either through my Contact page or in the comments below how you’re doing with your goals or what plans you have to set some!
Have a blessed day,