Are you ready to Drain the Swamp? Let’s begin Week 3 with…
Fear & Frenemies
- Be mindful this week of any fear, anxiety, or anger you feel while on social media or news sites.
- Notice the people that might be stoking this emotion within you.
- For ten seconds, hold these people up before God.
I was scrolling through facebook recently when I noticed that a friend (let’s call him Jeff) had posted something. My mind flickered with memories from the past. I thought of how kind he is, of times when we laughed together, and when he was generous to me and my family.
Then I read his political Facebook post. Let’s just say I was slightly bothered by what he said.
Congratulations Jeff, you are now a frenemy.
Clear & Present Danger
Already, 2017 has been a crazy year. No matter what your political leanings, things are heating up. Within minutes of scrolling through news headlines it’s hard not be overwhelmed with fear, anger, or anxiety.
So what can I do when I feel my blood pressure rising?
Option 1: Create Distance
When I’m feeling overwhelmed by current events, I can take a break from social media. I can try things like:
- Hide posts from my frenemies so they don’t appear in my newsfeed
- Limit my time on Facebook and news sites
Option 2: Take Action
When I’m feeling overwhelmed by current events, I can be part of the solution. I can participate by:
- Attending rallies
- Contacting local representatives
- Posting my opinions on facebook
Option 3: Pray for the Frenemies
The first two options are incredibly valuable and important. However, they are not enough for me. After creating distance and taking action I still feel overwhelmed with fear, anger, and anxiety.
It doesn’t help me to focus only on changing the situation or circumstances. Fear continues to follow me and it blinds me from making good decisions.
So this week, when I feel my internal temperature begin to rise while I’m on social media or news sites, I’m going to notice if I’m feeling anger, fear, or anxiety. Before I do anything else, no matter how noble it may seem, I’m going to pause for at least 10 seconds and follow Jesus’ words found in Matthew 5:44:
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…
Whatever actions I decide to take afterwards will have the benefit of being influenced, if even just a little, by my time spent with God.
I find it helpful to close my eyes and picture in my mind the frenemies, enemies, or people I’m anxious about resting in my cupped hands as I hold them up to God. Sometimes I picture God’s loving presence coming over us as a ray of light.
The reason I’m choosing to go visual instead of verbal this week is because I often find my prayers for my enemies to be about my will for them instead of God’s will.
“Dear God, please convince them of how wrong they are. Also, please smite them. Thanks.”
But as I stand in God’s presence, holding my enemy in the palms of my hands, there is something in that experience that is transformative and humbling for me.
If you find visual prayer helpful, great. If not, pray with words or whatever helps you connect with God.
Whoever we are angry at or fearful of or anxious about this week, we can pause for 10 seconds and hold them up before God. It might be:
- A Facebook frenemy
- A gun-toting conservative
- A weed-smoking liberal
- Syrian Refugees
This is not going to be easy. But as I continue to bring before God that which causes me fear, anger, and anxiety I am not only interceding for the transformation of others, but I’m standing before God which invites transformation for me as well.
Interested in giving this practice a try? You might find it healing to pursue a Sacred Badge of Courage.
Acknowledge the presence of whatever emotions you feel. It’s tempting to want to ignore intense emotions, but try bringing them with you as you enter God’s presence. Listen for His prompting on what to do next.
Are you thinking of practicing Fear & Frenemy this week? If so, let me know what your plan is.