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A cheerful spirit

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4.4

"Why do you waste so much time watching the news?" my daughter asked. "People who watch the news become grumpy and cynical." Yikes! My mind ranges over recent posts exhorting us to "remain unspotted by the world" (James 1.27) and to focus on what is good (Philippians 4.8). Clearly my demeanour does not reflect these positive influences; stronger instead the gloomy impact of current affairs.

So how to strike that essential balance between caring enough to keep well informed, while maintaining a sufficiently healthy detachment not become weighed down by the cares of the world? Paul's exhortation to "Rejoice in the Lord" is not an invitation to denial (of all the suffering, injustice and destruction that plagues the world) but to recognise that God has a plan to heal it and us.

Moses sustained his equilibrium by enjoying intimate fellowship with God. His face radiated God's glory and gave him the strength to carry on (Exodus 34.35). Perhaps those of us whose faces tell a different story need to reconsider the balance of time we devote to God and to less virtuous influences?

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