Not all of us, but many of us experience this. We have all the intentions of doing things differently in the new year but can’t grasp how to switch gears.
For one, lifestyle changes require more than intention. They need action, a total commitment of the mind, body, and soul. You can’t declare change without following it with the unction to change.
Second, lifestyle changes require us to sever old patterns. One way to clear the mind of old habits and ways of thinking is fasting.
By definition, fasting means to abstain from food, or a limiting of one’s food, especially when voluntary and as a religious observance, but the principle of fasting can apply to anything.
As a ministry, TKHC believes in the biblical teaching of fasting because it promotes spiritual growth. Fasting coupled with prayer helps train one’s spirit to hear God more clearly.
Overall, fasting helps to narrow the mind, focusing on what’s most important to us and helping us to identify everything that’s not.
With that in mind, I’d like to share four other areas where fasting can be beneficial.
I love social media. I work with it every day, but like everything else, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.
Social media is oversaturated with opinions and opportunities, marketing and madness, triumphs and tragedies 24/7.
Everyone has a license to use it, and very few people get it revoked. But most importantly, it’s not real…not 100% anyway.
Taking social media at face value, taking in every comment, status update, and challenge, consumes our thinking patterns in ways we may not realize.
Fasting from social media will pull your mind away from everyone else’s thoughts so you can develop your own. It will force you to find another outlet to pass the time besides scrolling through Facebook or watching endless TikTok videos.
Try it for 30 days and take note of how it went. Did you miss it, or could you go a little longer without it? If you found the break helpful, try to limit your time on social media as you go throughout the year.
We’re in a weird problem where watch options are better, but the content is a hit or miss.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the television/movie remake obsession over the last few years, plus all the ways we can watch TV besides cable.
Streaming services are exceptional and convenient, but when binge-watching starts to stifle functionality, we’ve got to rethink some things.
If you have a resolution of running two miles every Saturday but spend each weekend watching Netflix instead, it’s not farfetched to say you may be shy of reaching your fitness goals. If television/streaming services are a sore spot for you, try going without them for a short period.
Don’t forget to document any changes you experience after your time of fasting.
Music affects your mood. I imagine this is why music lovers often claim “music is life.”
Let’s think about that for a second. If something is affecting your mood, then it’s affecting your thoughts, and if something is affecting your thoughts, it will eventually affect your actions.
The best example I can use for the context of this blog is being a part of the music ministry in your church but not spending enough time listening to or creating music that ministers to others.
If you sing lead in the choir on Sundays but spend Monday-Saturday listening to everything but a gospel or Christian song, it will be challenging to center your mind and heart on Jesus.
You’ll sing with your lips, but your heart will be far from the song you’re ministering. Why not try the opposite for 30 days? Try fasting from your regular music and only listen to Gospel or Christian music for a month and document your experience.
I’m glad I’ve got my girls, too, but I know the importance of taking time for myself.
I’ve never been the friend that calls every day or that you hang out with every weekend, but I am the friend that shows up when no one else does.
I’m the friend that prays, and I’m the loyal friend.
My real friends know this about me, which is why we’re still friends.
We love our friends because they’re great company. They get us when others don’t, and they’re the family we choose.
But sometimes, our loved ones distract us from what we need. We’re content with having good times with them and forsake the state of our personal lives outside of their presence.
Who is the person staring at you in the mirror when no one is looking? What does that person need to thrive?
I’m not telling you to drop your friends by any means.
I’m suggesting that you accept fewer invitations and evaluate the relationships of those closest to you.
Do they only offer you a good time? Are they considerate of your well-being? Do you feel like they hinder you more than help you in any way?
Again, fasting helps us to see things more clearly. Sometimes we miss the obvious, like who’s really ‘for us’ because we’re too distracted to look.
If you’ve gotten to this point in the post, you should know that all of these fasting alternatives are intended to strengthen your faith walk. As Christians, we must remember Jesus.
We can’t claim a life of service unto God when we never make time for Him. We get distracted like everyone else. Our lives are whole, and sometimes they’re full of things and people not good for us.
Fasting from food and other areas of our lives that grip our attention help to realign our mind and heart back with God.
Making fasting a lifestyle offers us spiritual check-ins to forsake unhealthy habits and maintain a pleasing lifestyle unto God.
Chassidy‘s been a member of Thy Kingdom Has Come International Ministries for 14 years. “I love my church because it’s a place of transformation through the power of Jesus Christ. It stands for everything God loves”. She serves as a minister, administrator and oversees the ministry’s social media efforts. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, traveling, writing, searching for bakeries and binge-watching her favorite movies/shows on streaming services she vows to stop paying for.