What are three of the biggest challenges to your Christian faith?
Religion is extremely important for many people around the world, and faith has done amazing things for people in terms of healing them and guiding them. Most Christians want to feel close to God, to feel that their attention and their focus and their hearts are with Him, but we live in a world of many distractions and interruptions, and at times, it is difficult to find this sensation. If you’ve ever sat through a church service and found your mind wandering, you’ve probably experienced guilt. If you’ve ever realized, mid-prayer, that your thoughts are not with Him, but have gotten lost in some petty disagreement or materialistic concern, you’ve probably felt bad. The truth is, our lives are busy and we often struggle to stay on task, even when the task is very important to us. The resulting negative sensations may even make us want to avoid thinking about our religion, because we start to associate it with guilt, so here are three of the biggest distractions we face in our day-to-day life, and a few suggestions for how you can deal with them and prevent them from taking over your thoughts when you want to find the peace and solitude of God. 
This is perhaps the biggest distraction of all, and it’s one that is completely impossible to ignore, and very hard to control. The media is everywhere in our lives, from the magazines and leaflets and free newspapers that turn up in our mailboxes every day, to the advertisements we see on the streets and on TV. The Internet counts too! The media can cause major distractions, taking our eyes off of God. It’s loud, busy, disruptive, and often depressing. It seems that the media is only interested in materialism and consumerism; in selling the next big thing. It’s main, overarching goal is to grab our attention – and it is often successful in this attempt. We have to forgive ourselves when this happens because most media is designed in such a way that it is extremely difficult to ignore. It’s nearly impossible to look away from it and put it out of our minds. Catchy songs, memorable phrases, and funny videos – it’s so tempting and so engaging that it almost calls us to put off the quiet time of prayer and enjoy something lighthearted and effortless. Dealing with this is hard, and one of the best ways to do it is to set conscious limits for yourself. Don’t ban yourself from every pleasure, but restrict them to what feels like a fair amount of time. Decide how many hours of TV you want to watch in a week, and stick to it, and only follow the shows you really love. Do the same for magazines, video games, and for all other types of media. We can’t remove it from our lives, but we can take back control of our lives and re-distribute our time to make space for God and peace. Even when we’re tired, we should remember that prayer and rest will bring us more energy and revitalization than staring blankly at mindless TV shows and aggressive advertising.
This one is another difficult thing to balance. Our world is increasingly becoming focused on materialism and on having the next best thing, and it’s very difficult to avoid being drawn in by the allure of new, shiny products. If we live in a competitive neighborhood, we have children starting to notice how “other people” live, or we spend a lot of time immersed in advertising, so it’s almost impossible not to start focusing on materialistic concerns. Patricia J. Brown, a social worker at Write My X and Britstudent, said, “We have to pause and take a deep breath when we feel ourselves getting sucked into consumerism. We have to analyze the products and ask whether we need them, or whether they’re just nice to have. We have to question why they mean something to us, and whether we can find this value in more spiritual ways.” This pressure is particularly hard to ignore if you have children, no matter their age. They’re very likely to want the latest toy, to measure up with the other kids on the block, so saying “no” can be difficult. Try to replace “things” with experiences and build memories together as a family. Keeping your home clutter-free will give you the space to breathe and stay spiritual, and the memories will help you stay thankful to God for the little things in life.
Many of us have a lot to worry about these days. Those of us who are parents worry about our children and about the future they’ll face. We have financial concerns, the pressure to keep up with those around us, and anxiety over our health. We fret about the environment, about wars, about injustice, and about poverty and sickness. With the massive amount of information we now have access to, many of these worries have been magnified tenfold, and the pressure can be overwhelming, however, this distraction can be inverted, because one of the best ways to release yourself from worries is to give them to God (Matt 11:28-30). Pass them into His care and He will provide answers to them. Leah M. Doherty, a spiritual counselor at 1 Day 2 Write and Next Coursework explains: “The concerns we face are often far too big for us, so our worries do not achieve anything. They leave us drained and tired, stressed and overwrought, full of sympathy and sorrow, but they make no difference to the suffering of the world. We must learn to pass them on to God, who has the power to heal all hurts, and right all wrongs. We have to learn to let our worries bring us closer to Him, not push us away.”
No matter what we’re struggling with in life, we need to remember that God will answer our questions and keep us safe. We have to forgive ourselves and ask for forgiveness when we cannot do what we know we should do when the world distracts us and leads us astray. We must return to the safety of faith, and know that by His will, all things will be made right.
About the Author
Joel Syder is membership assistant and writer at Case Study Help and PhD Kingdom. He enjoys helping people to realize their potential in exciting field of mind and spirit improvement as well as creating articles about things that excite him for Academic Brits , educational portal.
Here is some related reading for you: Bible Verses About Faith: 20 Popular Scripture Quotes 
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.