Seven-Day Distraction Fast – Day #1

By Dr. Scott Rodin    

Five warning signs that distractions have become our idols

On this first day of our Distraction Fast I’d like to challenge us to think about how easily our distractions can become idols. An idol is something to which we give our allegiance. Idols captivate our attention and vie for our emotional loyalty. Here’s five indications that something in your life is starting to become an idol:

  1. Your emotional wellbeing is impacted significantly by the state of it
  2. You prioritize your time to make room to engage with it, even if it requires sacrifice
  3. It satisfies you in ways that your relationship with God and others don’t seem to
  4. You spend money on it without questioning whether you should
  5. It dominates your thinking even when you are not engaged with it

What kind of distractions can pull us into this form of idolatry? Let me opine on just one – sports. This weekend I watched baseball, golf (US Open) and some world cup soccer. In all three venues, I witnessed fans and announcers paying homage to the sport. They went beyond being spectators and fans, they were devotees, disciples, dare I say…worshipers. In each case the game (and that’s what they are, remember? Men hitting balls with sticks or kicking balls in nets. Games!) took on a magnitude of importance that elevated it to idol status. And breathless commentators cajoled us to yield to the emotional gravitas of the moment. How might our attitudes as ‘fans’ of sport become idolatrous in light of the five warning signs above?

The point here is to look at your list of distractions for which you are fasting starting today, and consider your attitude toward them in light of this list. Be tenacious. Don’t give anything a pass. Examine each area of distraction and hold its feet to the fire.

Then, wherever you find yourself on the road to possible idolatry, name it and ask God to help you pull back and maintain a healthy, God-honoring perspective in relationship to it. Regarding sports, be a loyal fan, but know when you have crossed the line from fan loyalty to idolatrous fixation.

I pray this first day of your Distraction Fast will be a day of discovery, revealing places where your heart and mind have been pulled away from a focus on Christ. And I pray you experience new joy in how God comes to you in the quiet places that have emerged in the absence of noise and busyness.

Please write me and let me know what God is revealing to you on this first day of your Distraction Fast.

Dr. Scott Rodin    

Dr. Rodin is the president of The Steward's Journey, whose mission is to inspire and equip God's people to be free and joyful stewards of life. He also serves as President of Kingdom Life Publishing and Rodin Consulting Inc.

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  • Thank you for this article that clearly defines markers to identify what these distractions may be. Your blogs help take me deeper into the life I want with God. A blessing. Thank you.