It’s amazing how much of my life used to be based on what the world would tell me I should be. What’s the newest hairstyle? What celebrity is wearing the best LBD? (a.k.a., little black dress) And God forbid the Patriots lose the super bowl again, then my whole world would end! Sometimes I go back and forth from channel to channel on t.v, and all I see is bad. Rumors that another war could break out soon. Then, a little girl was found dead on the side of a road. Or, there’s a riot breaking out based on some social injustice, and no one can seem to wrap their minds around what’s truth and what’s media anymore. Honestly, there are times when I just turn off the t.v., turn off Facebook, turn off Twitter, and walk away. My mind just can’t handle so much negativity in one sitting, that’s not how I function. As Christians, I believe we need to be able fill ourselves up with the things of God, and not the things of this world in order to have true, lasting peace.

It’s interesting, because as I was thinking this idea through, God gave me an example of what we need to compare ourselves to. Brita. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a filter system that takes contaminated water and makes it safe for people to drink. All you do is slide the insert into the pitcher, and run faucet water into it. Then you wait until all the water has dripped to the bottom of the pitcher, that’s how you know when the water is clean. This is how our spirits work as Christians. The word of God says in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Jesus gave us these words because he knew that our fragile spirits wouldn’t be able to handle all the crazy things this life has to offer, where there’s so much confusion about how we should act and handle things. There is no confusion in God, his ways are perfect, and only HE knows what’s best for us. So whenever my brother forgets to fill up the pitcher of water for the house to put in the refrigerator, my mom makes him stop whatever he’s doing to go do it. It usually takes a minute, depending on how good he’s doing in Pokemon GO, but he eventually gets to it. See, my mom is afraid that if the water gets too low, not only will it suck waiting for the water to be purified, but carbon particles could escape from the filter. This could possibly defeat the purpose of even having a filter…I think you get the point.

For me, staying around people that build me up is the key to surviving even one stressful week. It’s good to have reliable role models in your life that make you want to be a better person. For example, I was operating under a leader at my church for some time, volunteering for various events. Many of these events were very fast-pace, so everyone had to be in their appropriate area at the right time. On occasion, problems would come up that discouraged me, but that person always seemed to have their head up high. Their posture was always calm, and it had an air of true leadership to it. Because of that person being in my life, I decided to change my attitude to an uplifting one, instead of one of criticism. Another way I filter is by listening to the right kinds of music. Now EVERYBODY loves Nirvana and Adele. At least I do. They appeal to the senses and inspire passion. But if I listen to them to long, I may want to go start an army of some kind, or call up ex-boyfriend. As much as I love them, I try to go with a lot of Hillsong Music, or LeCrae. This keeps me rooted in God and what he says about me. Lastly, I try to avoid watching scary movies. Every once in awhile, I may see one of that gets me, but I’ve realized that opening myself up to those things causes me to DWELL on the those things. Therefore, I become more like those things instead of more like God. If we keep our eyes on what’s eternal, nothing of this world can shatter us.

I’m pretty sure I see things differently than the way I saw them in high school. I was open to everything that seemed fun and free, and ultimately, I closed myself to the truth of God’s word for my life. Whenever there was drama, my filter was completely shut off and I didn’t know enough to turn it back on. There are times when I still struggle with the things I see around me, but it’s in those times that I’m sure of one thing. God’s love for me. Remaining in the love of God strengthens me enough to face tomorrow, and I pray that it strengthens you, too.