My Broken Road to Grace: Post Twenty Six (Are you Living Wisely?)
Do you live wisely? At first glance I can only guess that most of us would at least like to think so and would answer that question in the affirmative. After all, many of us try to watch what we eat, get some exercise, enough rest, limit the stress in our lives and have regular check ups with our Doctor, all in an effort to keep our bodies operating efficiently. If we notice that we are beginning to slip in any one of those areas, typically we analyze the situation thoroughly and then make the necessary adjustments in order to get back on track.
All this is good and certainly what we are commanded to do as Christians in keeping with our body being the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. God expects us to take care of our bodies but He also expects us to take care our souls, our spiritual existence, and at times that can be a little more difficult to do as the effort to do so is clouded by a little more ambiguity than that of our physical being.
When we gain five pounds, it shows, our pants get tighter, we find it a little harder to bend over to pick something up off the floor and we find our selves out of breath a little quicker, all warning signs that there is a problem, pointing it out to us and making it clear that we need to make adjustments. The same can be said of medical care. If we go to the doctor and he or she discovers a problem, major or minor, the problem is diagnosed, a plan of treatment is put into action and that treatment is followed until the problem is hopefully resolved or at the very least brought under control. With proper medication we learn to manage problems that were once life threatening such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Suffice it to say that in dealing with the obvious physical problems in our lives it is easier because we can see them clearly and then approach them with a working knowledge of what needs to be done. Conversely, our spiritual problems or weaknesses are not always so easy to see and even when we do see them sometimes we simply do not see them for what they actually are.
I believe that this is the work of the devil, some of his best in fact, and that he is masterful at lulling us into thinking that even though we are slipping further and further away from the will of God in our lives, everything is OK and we believe that we are maintaining the status quo. Part of how he does this is to anesthetize us to our surroundings. The more we hear or see something, the more often it emerges in our world and is met with little or no resistance by those around us the more moral it begins to seem until it eventually is thought to be so even though it really is not.
That off color joke in the break room, the TV program that crosses the line morally, the lyrics to a song that are in direct contradiction to what we believe but is popular and has a good beat remains on our radio and we find ourselves even humming along. All are classic examples of the situation. Maybe I am old school as the young people like to say today. I am guessing that there is a really good chance I am but in my mind there is something really wrong when society will censure a word that some of the population might find offensive in an effort to be "politically correct" and yet have no problem with the taking of the Lords name in vain in prime time on National Television, A clear cut case in my mind of jumbled priorities.
It seems to me that we are often more concerned about what people think that which God does and in my mind in doing so, we are treading on very dangerous ground. Call me old fashioned, even backward if you will but I believe that it is time that we as a nation began to stand up and make known what we believe and why and begin to say a simple "no" to some of the filth and decay that is being fed to us daily by the media and entertainment industry. I could not quote a percentage but I dare say it is a large one of the shows that are being aired today in which the most horrid, sick, twisted and demented story lines exist. It seems the more horrible the better and all in the name of entertainment. Video games are ever increasing in their level of violence and murderous and blood thirsty act are rewarded with points. Yet our news commentators are shocked and amazed when some young misguided individual whose life is void of anything but such nonsense takes to the streets in a murderous rage because he has allowed his mind to be overtaken and then used as a tool of the devil.
What then do we do about this problem? How do we stop it before it gets worse? In my mind, the solution has to begin in our individual hearts and minds. Ephesians 5:15-16 says "Be very careful, then, how you live not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." A simple yet profound statement, that begs the question what is wise? It isn't rocket science folks. Answer this question, is it wise for a 10 year old boy to spend hours unsupervised playing the kind of video games that are referenced above. Is it wise to allow your highly impressionable 12 year old daughter to walk around in headphones listening to music, the lyrics and message of which you have not a clue. Is it wise for you to watch with and allow your family to watch a sitcom in which everything we believe in as Christians is chided and derided in the name of humor. I don't know about you but for me something about that is anything but funny. None of those things are examples of wisdom, to the contrary, they are quite simply folly that left unchecked will do nothing but get worse.
I read an article recently that said that if television evolves negatively in the next 40 years as it has in the last 40 pornography will fill our airwaves and will be there ready for any and all to see unchecked. I for one believe that will be a sad day and a world in which I will be scared for my children and grandchildren to live.
The time to act is now Christians, small steps often initiate big changes. Turn off that radio the minute the lyrics become offensive, do the same with the television and take the time to explain to your family why. Monitor what your children see and do on the internet and DO NOT let it become a baby sitter! Taking small steps now will make it easier for us to band together as group and make even larger changes in the future as the scripture says "Be careful not to live unwisely" I think you will be glad you did.