Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: BOYCOTT (11/01/18)
TITLE: Matt’s Dilemma
By Marlene Custer
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“I am really struggling,” Matt shifted in his seat as he shared with his accountability partner.
His eyes were downcast as Jason set his coffee cup down and asked, “In what way?”
“Well, I get up in a pretty good mood, then listen to the news while eating a quick breakfast. By the time I leave for work, I’m on a downward spiral. I mean, the shootings, the kids that are missing, politics, and now that caravan from Mexico or where ever. It keeps my mind in a turmoil all day.”
“I hear you.” Jason’s words were somewhat consoling to Matt.
“I worry about my kids constantly. I just don’t feel like a joyful Christian. I feel more like a big phony.”
Matt leaned over the table closer as Jason suggested, “I think it is time for you to declare a boycott.”
“A boycott...I’m not following you.”
Matt listened carefully as Jason explained. “A boycott on negative thoughts and worry. Usually a boycott involves a lot of people, but this one could be your own private boycott,” Jason said, and then continued, “you should give up listening to, or reading the news so early in the day. And when a negative depressing thought floods your mind, refuse to dwell on it. The Apostle Paul encouraged the Philippians to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, anything that is excellent or praiseworthy.”
Matt turned to Philippians 4:8 in his New Testament to read it for himself. “I like being informed, but I’m willing to give this a try. I sure don’t like being in the doldrums all the time.”
Two weeks later, Matt waited eagerly for Jason to join him for coffee. “Oh, man! Your advice has made a difference on how my days go.”
Jason chuckled as Matt continued to share, “the first couple of days were hard, but I taped that verse on my mirror and on my desk at work. I made a list of positive things to think about, and when the anxiety of the news starts to take over, or worries about my family, I take a look at my list. I have even invited others to join me in this boycott. I want to drive negative thinking and worry right out of business.”
* NIV Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
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