While in the doldrums, former procrastinators, I wanted entertainment. Then I read a question that jerked me up: What are you paying attention to? And an admonition: Pay attention to what you are paying attention to. (Dr. Curt Thompson, author of Anatomy of the Soul. He asks this question; his applications are somewhat different than this post.)
When I exalt myself, I fall prey to the spirit of the age. Even wholesome entertainment can take me away from a better choice of how to use my time, energy, and attention.
How does this relate to procrastination? A procrastinator generally likes the path of least resistance. It’s difficult sometimes to examine the Word and see what God says, to consider that I might have responsibilities I don’t want, to think that I might end up in a different position than my associates. So it’s easier to acquiesce without prayer or study. It’s easier to respond, “I’ll think about that later.” Or close my eyes and say, “I don’t see anything wrong with that.” Or, “I deserve to rest.” Or, “We don’t have that here.” It’s natural for a procrastinator to bend with the spirit of the age because it’s easier to do so. Am I paying attention to what I’m buying into?
What are some of the ideas and values of this age we live in? Some of them are exaltation of self in many forms (whatever I want is what’s important, convenience, comfort, etc.) money, busyness, workaholism, entertainment, scorn of others or of legitimate authority We could add more.
What does the spirit of the age use for influence? Efforts to persuade us to buy into the spirit of the age can come through the media, organizations, church, school, government, entertainment, games, magazines, books, conversations.
How do we recognize the spirit of the age? Give God’s Word our attention, steeping ourselves in truth so we have the discernment we need. Put everything through the filter of His Word.
How do we resist the spirit of the age? As Pastor Matthew Roberts says we do so by worshiping the one true God of this and every age. We choose what God chooses. Am I worshiping Him if I watch this program? Believe this ad? Believe the world’s criteria for beauty, skill, talent? Am I valuing what He values? Taking His perspective? Or am I okaying something He speaks against?
Christians are in the world because God placed us here. It is right that we be here. As someone says, the right place for a ship is in the water. But woe to the ship that has water in it.
We must pay attention to what we allow our hearts and minds to absorb. Are we taking on the spirit of the age, the spirit of this world? Or choosing our holy, loving God and His way?
How can you pay more attention to the filter of God’s Word?