How You Can Give Up Your Worldly Passions

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

Recap

We’ve covered a lot in this post, so let’s recap:

  1. 1 Peter 4 tells us that we should do things for the will of God, not our sinful passions.
  2. People may mock us for not going along with them, and you should still love and care for them, but ultimately God will judge.
  3. Find a friend to give up your passions with.
  4. Set your goals together.
  5. 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.

Jesus You’re Better – Lakeshore Worship

Final Thoughts

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,

~Caroline

The Distractions That Hinder Our Christian Lives

Hello, friend! Welcome to my blog, and I hope you’re doing well! Today I’d like to talk about some distractions we face often in our lives, mainly ones that are time wasters and don’t do anything to help us. And then next week, I’m going to talk about how we can stop or slow down the intake of those things.

It’s Not Just You

First of all, it’s not just you. Everyone wastes time and procrastinates at some point, including me. The point of these next couple of articles aren’t just to instill guilt and leave you wondering what to do, but also to help you (and myself) find a way to use time more wisely.

I think during quarantine a lot of us have liked to slack off and use the time to really relax when we don’t have school or work to do. And while relaxation and rest are good and needed, too much rest results in laziness and time-wasting. Time that could be spent with God. 

Time Wasting TV

TV is probably the biggest time-waster of all, especially if you have Netflix or Disney+ or other streaming services. You find your show, click on an episode, and suddenly you’ve watched closer to five episodes. If each episode is 20 minutes, and you watch five episodes, that’s 100 minutes or an hour and 40 minutes of time watching something that isn’t very profitable for you!

John Piper says in his book Don’t Waste Your Life:

A mind fed daily on TV diminishes. Your mind was made to know and love God. Its facility for this great calling is ruined by excessive TV. The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the mind to think worthy thoughts withers, and the capacity of the heart to feel deep emotions shrivels.

John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

Social Media Scrolling

As a teenager, I only have access to a couple of basic platforms that can hardly be considered social media, but I hear plenty about social media from my parents, other teenagers, and other adults. And from what I’ve heard, time spent reading posts and liking images isn’t exactly the best time spent either. 

For me, I use a platform called Discord, and I like to chat with people there. It isn’t the same as Instagram or Facebook but it’s still a way to socialize. I spend time roleplaying and talking about various topics with random people instead of being productive or doing something more worthwhile.

Now don’t take me wrong, there are amazing friends I’ve made on there that I love to talk with, and using social media to make better connections is useful. But if you’re on a platform for hours upon hours not really doing anything for anybody or yourself, that’s wasting time.

An Example From A Specific Hound

In my family, we have two foxhounds: Oscar and Ginger. Ginger is the most food-driven animal I have ever seen. If she had to choose between our family and a bowl of bacon she’d choose the bacon every time.

For example, the other day my dad was trying to put some medicine on the dogs’ backs. This involved running a little bottle down their backs while squeezing out some liquid. To keep the dogs calm, we gave them treats while this was being done to them.

Oscar didn’t handle it so well; he isn’t as dedicated to food as Ginger is, and so we temporarily gave up on him. Ginger, however, was so focused on the treats she didn’t even flinch. She glanced at what my dad was doing to her once and then went back to the treats. 

Of course, we’re above the dogs, but we sometimes can have a mindset like Ginger here. We’re so stuck on seeing the next episode of our favorite shows or liking posts we don’t realize what’s happening, that we’re putting these things before God. 

The Solution?

The solution for all of this may be hard, but it will be worth it. It’s time to rip the bandaid off and see the wound. See what we have been wasting our time on, and then put ointment on it by knowing that God is greater, and He is better than any TV show we could ever watch.

Over the next week, challenge yourself. See what it’s like to not watch TV for a couple of days. Maybe, if possible, log out of your social media accounts and see what it’s like. I’ll be trying to do similar things, and then next Friday I’ll give you an official post of ideas for pulling yourself out of the hole of distractions, while still having things to do. 

I probably didn’t mention half the things that distract us today, but you can look at your own time spent on various things and evaluate, “Is this helping me glorify God?” and if the answer is no, then consider cutting back on the time spent doing that, and go on from there. 

Final Thoughts

Thank you for joining me on this eye-opening journey of our modern-day distractions! If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to my email list on the home page of the blog to receive updates for when I post and my monthly newsletter. Remember to stay tuned for my next post!

Have a blessed day, 

~Caroline