The one thing that crowds out my anxious thoughts, keeps me focused on God's truth, gives me courage to do hard things or even the next right everyday mundane task in my life is to cling to what is good. To remember good things and intentionally act on that good.
Romans 12:9-21 expounds on what this "clinging to what is good" looks like in action. Definitely read it all in context. Following are some practical everyday actions that help me cling to good all day everyday.
Start each day with a bible text to focus on.We've started to use our morning drive to share a Bible text to remember throughout the day, a little talk about what it means and how to put it in action, followed by prayer. For example, this morning my husband shared Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God." I'm definitely clinging to that today.
Turn on uplifting music.I love the grounding and persevering courage messages of hymns. Lately, I've been listening to the Fernando Ortego station on Pandora, which has a great mix of meaningful and inspirational songs. Sometimes I like something peppier and mix it up. Filling in the silence with something positive can help keep my mind from running away. You do you on what uplifts you.
Shut down the technology.I really struggle with it. Yet, I know it's always easier for me to cling to good thoughts and follow through on good actions when I'm not perpetually distracted by news or debates or other people's everyday lives. The scrolling and liking and checking are so additive. There's a time and a place for checking in--that time is not all day and that place is not everywhere. (If I get too preachy on this topic, it's because I need it.)
And when online, don't feed the trolls or engage the drama.It is not my job to monitor the internet or add opinions to every debate. I can see and listen and observe without letting it cause me to cling to negative things or draw me in to futile rage. Limiting the amount of times I check in and how long I stay on helps me use the time productively rather than typing things I regret or following rabbit trails I can't un-see. And I've never regretted stepping away before responding.
Do the next right thing.Maybe it's doing the dishes or feeding the family or paying some bills or working out or going to work or writing something no one may ever see or calling a state rep about something happening that isn't right. Doing the next right thing puts that good to action.
Put love in action.And often, the next right thing involves loving someone--our real life friends and family, or hurting, hungry, or lonely people. With encouraging words, calming presence, donations to causes you believe in, hugs, and prayers. There are so many ways to love, and it's our whole duty as humans (Eccl. 12:13), so it's worth finding ways to do everyday.
Pray. Continually.Thank Him, ask Him, vent to Him, pause to listen to Him. He redirects my mind onto His goodness and truth; He empowers me to do hard but good things through His strength; He absorbs my pain and frustrations; and His good gets the last word. Always.
I love how Romans 12:21 wraps it up: Overcome evil with good. (Read Romans 12:9-21 for the full context.) That's ultimately what clinging to what is good is all about--overcoming evil starting with our words and our actions.
How do you cling to what is good?
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