Burnout- Living in a culture of doubt & distraction

By Jessica Rubi Greer


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"Down, depressed and hopeless"


The twenty-first century has been characterized by rapidly changing and evolving technologies.

Advancements and conveniences have crept their way from mere novelties and entertainment

to daily necessities. First-world human appetites have taken shape, desires lit by a virtual

escape from the mundane realities that humanity was previously forced to cope with. As a

result, the world itself has gotten noisier, sensory driven, algorithm centered, image consumed,

with information overload, and has thus created a chasm of chaos within our own minds. A poll

taken by the Psychiatric American Association (APA) in 2018, found that Americans were 40%

more anxious than the previous year. Most of the concerns were for their health, safety, and

finances. Fast forward to May 2020, the Washington Post reported that a third of Americans had

been diagnosed with clinical anxiety. One section of the article titled “It’s not normal for this

many Americans to feel depressed” identified an increase in positive screenings after

Americans admitted to feeling “down, depressed, and hopeless”. The spike is obviously

correlated to the impact of Covid-19, but causation factors are far more complex. Western

societies have been grappling with younger generations battling anxiety and depression

disorders prior to the global pandemic.


Faith & the unseen

Although the dramatic shifts that have taken place since March 2020, may have rocked the

world into a state of upheaval and uncertainty, it exasperated and exposed feelings that had

already existed. When we consider the worries we face, they are basic human needs… health,

safety, and finances are considered primitive. Yet, even in wealthy democratic countries in

which most have unlimited access to medical care, law and order, and live lives of luxury

compared to most of the world there has continued to be this ongoing gnawing on our mental

state. As a Christian, we recite verses that encourage us not to worry, not to fear. Why?

Because “Greater is he that is in us!” However, the reality of anxieties from typical modern worry

to debilitating mental illness has only become a more common imprint on our collective psyche.

When we read the scriptures about faith, they always have one oppositional weight and that is

sight! 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Hebrews 11:1-3 “Now faith is the

assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old

received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word

of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” All of Hebrews 11

discusses the faith Christians have in a completeness to their faith that has eternal purpose.

Words in the New Testament that describe a person of faith use words like “invisible” “unseen”

“eternal”.


The unseen vs the "over-seen"


Living in a world that appeals first and foremost to our senses, pulls us into living in the present.

Not only participating in the present, but investing our energy, our mindset and our worldview.

Information bombarding our smart phones with “breaking news” buzzing us to let us know that

Harry and Meghan are now going to have baby #2! SIGHT! Social Media reminding us that our

best friend from 4th grade ate sushi AGAIN! SIGHT! Algorithms popping up an infinite amount of

ads after inquiring a google search for the right concealer! SIGHT! This is what it means to fight for our faith in the modern world. There are politics, agendas, demonic philosophies… then,

there is just the constant tapping on our thoughts.

The earthly state of materialism draws us into the values and ethics of a worldly code. Women

living in free societies are encouraged to be “boss babes”, pushing for influencer accounts,

contending for that side hustle. After all, the Proverbs 31 virtuous woman was also a

businesswoman! Obviously, there is great incredible purpose that God gives women to pursue

the marketplace. However, all of it falls square in the middle of a culture of distraction. Take the

classic Bible story of Martha and Mary. Luke 10:38-42 “As Jesus and his disciples were on their

way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a

sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was

distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t

you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me! Martha,

Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are

needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from

her.” Jesus poignantly identifies what causes worry, prioritizing the things that can be easily taken from us.



The distractions within our culture and the dependency on outside views take up the space in

our minds that should be producing new ideas, new solutions, spiritual inspirations. We replace

deep thinking with overthinking. Instead of having a controlled and intentional process of

thinking, we indulge in reactionary chaotic thinking. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever

is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is

commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these

things.” God has spoken to our spiritual appetite for thought, supplying us with intellectual

nourishment.


Turn your eyes


We live in a century that has supplied us with endless activities that lead to a state of burnout.

Our actual physical senses are constantly being heightened by technology, contributing to living

a life by sight instead of faith...resulting in doubt and fear. Couple this with constant distractions

and the buzzing of our brains into hyper emotional thinking. The things of this world are loud

and bright. I cannot help but think of the old hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, the chorus

“Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim”. The opposite of

doubt and distraction is faith and focus. While we are being dragged into the present, even with

the best of intentions… we must be diligent to focus on Jesus so that the material and cultural

goals around us will fade “in the light of His glory and grace”.

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

We hope you enjoy reading through some of our blog posts. Our intention is to create content that will inspire our readers and help us balance sharp mind with gentle spirits as Jesus has called us to in Matthew 10:16. Get to know the story behind The Serpent & the Dove. 

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