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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Finding a Positive Attitude in Quarantine

As the Coronavirus quarantine drags on here in Massachusetts, where I live, I recently found myself dealing with some new, unwelcome emotions. Where just a few weeks prior I felt happily resolved to stay indoors, emotionally equipped to handle the restrictions of quarantine, my resolve was wavering, and I found myself experiencing episodes of moodiness and anxiety.

When are things going back to normal? And why am I feeling this way? Certainly, previous generations have had to deal with serious pressures without falling apart—wars, hunger, economic depressions, and death. How can I have a hard time just staying in?

My first step was to analyze what I was putting into my mind on a daily basis. While I have been keeping up with my prayers and daily Bible reading, more time indoors has brought more time in front of the television, too. I have a plethora of options for viewing: a Netflix subscription and more cable channels than I can count. I had gotten in the habit of watching both cable news and darker content like true crime murder mysteries, which helped set the stage for my dreary outlook. (The devil will ease through any door in our hearts or minds we leave just a tiny bit open!)

While maybe there is technically nothing wrong with watching these programs, I was doing nothing to advance God’s kingdom in my own life. We are only human—what we feed our minds will often decide to settle there, influencing our moods and habits in countless ways. The Bible reminds,

“Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 NLT)

I was definitely copying the behaviors of this world, so I decided to change my perspective. Imagine if you suddenly found yourself deserted on an island with a beloved friend whom you longed to get to know better. Would you immediately busy yourself locating a power source and hooking up a television to watch news or mysteries? No! You would revel in the time spent with this treasured friend, seeking to strengthen your bond.

That’s our chance today, with God! If we change our perspective, we can reach deeper levels to our faith during quarantine. We can pray more deeply and honestly, listening intently, heart and mind open, for God’s replies. We can read our Bibles thoughtfully, and pray to the Holy Spirit for illumination of those precious Words. Holy scripture infallibly points the way:

“We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT)

I’m not suggesting canceling television viewing in our homes, but I am suggesting being discriminating in our choices. My husband and I, along with our 21-year-old son quarantining with us, decided to watch The Chosen, a wonderful Christian production by VidAngel. This free series presents viewers with a supremely compelling Jesus—one who laughed and loved, felt sorrow, appreciated friendships, and brought God’s kingdom to earth in the way only he could. The disciples in The Chosen are mere men, full of faults and questions, chosen by Christ for the most important work imaginable. This series sparked conversations between the three of us and left us feeling safe and protected, no matter what the future brings. Our Lord is truly in control.

Now, I actively choose wholesome movies and shows to watch and strictly limit my news intake. And no murder mysteries for me. And let me tell you, my mood has significantly improved! I am going to activate my will to use this precious time to become closer to our Lord. He loves us so much; let’s return that greatest of loves.

I hope you join me!

Copyright © June 2020 Deirdre Reilly, used with permission.

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