Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety
2 Timothy 2:6
A guy walks into a bar…
The first person at the counter makes an angry political joke.
The second person at the counter makes a sketchy Black Lives Matter comment.
The third person complains brashly about something Covid related.
The guy says, “Geesh, if I wanted to hear talk like this I could have just stayed home!”
It’s true, you know. Few of us need to step outside our own homes to hear negative or even angry talk about all manners of issues these days. Maybe it’s our family sitting around the dinner table debating the usefulness of masks. Maybe it’s hurtful posts on Facebook pushing for one candidate or another. Perhaps it’s listening to a talking head of our choice, shouting at us on the news.
If I’m not careful, I’ll soak all this stuff up. I have to work at limiting the amount of negative chatter I imbibe in a day, because I’ve learned that too much isn’t good for me. I don’t need to spend my days feeling equal-turns anger, despair, and fear. It’s not healthy.
And so, I’m learning to do the Avoid Dance. Now, for years, I’d “learned” that doing the Avoid Dance is wimping out, not being a good citizen, turning my back on important conversations. But what if sometimes it’s the wisest choice you can make?
I’m here to tell you, on days when I succeed in avoiding my big three (Social Media, News Sites, Petty Small Talk) I feel happier, healthier, and more focused. This doesn’t mean I’m not connected — I just make sure that a good part of my daily Dance card is filled with Avoid Dances.
The book of Proverbs reminds us several times to avoid unhealthy practices, and here in 2 Timothy we’re cautioned to refrain from “profane chatter” lest we put ourselves in peril. There are painful issues on the tips of everybody’s tongue, and there’s so much “data” flying around out there, it’s next to impossible to Dance around it.
Sometimes I slip up, I fall down the rabbit hole and find myself overcome with angst. If that happens to you, I suggest you try the Avoid Dance, too. Remember, you’re not copping out — You’re removing yourself to a healthy place. That probably wouldn’t be a bar, and sometimes it might not even be your own home. It will be someplace where you can hear God again.
Picture This: You’re out in a field, doing the Avoid Dance, all by yourself. Arms out to your sides, your nose breathing in the cool autumn breeze. Lazy spins beneath a blue sky. Every tree, every wild flower, reaching up to the heavens, encouraging you to do the same.
If you could actually bring yourself to Dance like that, the positive effects would be immediate. Even just picturing such a scene in my head fills me up with a mini-dose of God’s Perfect Peace.
It may be time to break away. To steer clear of the clamor. To renew and recharge. Best of all, doing the Avoid Dance may help your soul from feeling like…
Have a Great Week,