Recently, I was invited to go see a movie with some good friends of mine. The friends are all Christian women so, I was surprised at the movie choice. There’s no need to dwell on what movie it was or who the friends were because, that’s not what was important in this situation. The dilemma over whether I should go with my friends to see the movie brought up a lot of thoughts in my mind. I am glad to say it wasn’t much of a dilemma because I knew, without a doubt, I wasn’t going to go. But it made me think of the many times in my Christian walk where I have watched something I shouldn’t, listened to something I shouldn’t, said something I shouldn’t, done something I shouldn’t, or taken part in something I shouldn’t. These times are far more than I’d like.
The Bible makes it very clear in so many ways that, as Christians, we should be different from the world. Today, the world is so inundated with things which are so contrary to the Godly life. You can rarely turn on your TV or radio without seeing or hearing something about sex, adultery, drunkeness, and other things which anger God. Sadly, though, because we are so used to these things, many times we barely even notice them. We have allowed the culture to become so much a part of us, that these things barely bother us anymore. Romans 12:2 in The Message translation sums this up so well: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without thinking.” So true.
God commands us in multiple verse throughout the Bible that we must be different. We must train our hearts and minds to think of the things of God, not of the world.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
Philippians 2: 14-15
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Our student minister, Shawn Grant, said something in his message this Sunday which I was confused by at first. But then, it made sense. He said he believes that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to live out the teachings of Jesus. What?! But, yes, it is. It is impossible in our own strength and that’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us. How do we know that the Holy Spirit is at work in us? Well, I knew full well the Holy Spirit was at work in me when I had the strong feeling I should not go see this movie with my friends. The Holy Spirit is that little voice inside of you that helps you to live in line with the teachings of Jesus. And that voice will be louder, the more you are in the Word and connected to God.
This post is by no means a condemnation of anyone reading. This post is as much for me as it is for anyone else. There are so many times I fall short of living the way Christ asks me to. But, this particular situation really made me think about how strong the urge is to fit in and to please others and how weak the urge can be in my own heart to please God. I urge you, fellow professing Christians to think twice about what you are putting into your mind and heart because, what goes in will definitely come out.
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
The other thing which I hope will come out of this particular situation is a boldness to question my brothers and sisters in Christ and a willingness to be questioned. The Bible clearly commands us to hold accountable and be held accountable. We have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage them to live Biblically. I pray that we can do that for each other.