”The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.” (Proverbs 17:24, ESV)
The question: do you think? I do not ask, “What do you think?” But, “Do you think?” For thinking is a lost art in a reactionary digital world. Focus is hard to come by, for the internet giants have no reason to promote it. They need your clicks to get their cash. The more distracted we are, the more money they have.
Your brain is a gift from God. Stewardship is a biblical concept believers have increasingly adopted in recent years, the idea that God entrusts bodies and finances and the planet, amongst other things, into our care. We must be good stewards with these gifts, responsible with all God has given. But consider this, your brain is also a gift from Him, a gift we are responsible for.
In our proverb, the fool cannot set his face — his thoughts, attention, or brain — toward wisdom. Instead, his eyes are everywhere else, even on the ends of the earth. Distraction rules him; he cannot focus. He cannot allow himself to think anymore, especially not about the good wisdom of God.
So we must run to God and ask for His grace and Spirit to strengthen us. We must get His power to transform our hearts — but also our brains — for His glory. If we’ve allowed our minds to become corroded and corrupted into distraction machines flitting about the universe, we must ask God for help to set our faces towards wisdom once again. We must look to Him to enable us to, again, think linearly and long, especially about His word. We must get His power to retrain the brains He has entrusted to our care.
If you are in need of brain restoration, allow me to suggest a few aids:
- Set a routine for consecutive Bible reading.
- Install apps on your devices to help regulate when the full internet is accessible to you (I suggest Freedom and Offtime).
- Quit social media networks that do not, overall, bring health into your soul. I say “overall,” because every social media network has some redeeming purpose, so you have to work hard to weigh the good with the bad and discern the true measure.
- Tell a friend you are trying to cut back.
- Set a reasonable reading goal, perhaps even by starting a book club.
- Try to batch your online interactions with others at two or three times daily, rather than spontaneously, whenever you think of a message to send.
- Create a solid “to-do” list where you can write down messages you need to send.
- Install software to enable you to reply to long text messages from your email account.
- If need be, get a simplified phone with only talk and text capabilities.