Monday, October 17, 2011

Just What Are you Downloading?

     Two weeks ago, we downloaded an upgrade to our software system in our office.  It was supposed to make utilizing the program much easier.  Unfortunately, what they did not tell us was that we were also getting some bugs which were not cleared from the system before it was rolled out to consumers.  Our wonderful IT tech has been working to eliminate the problems and the company promises future patches to fix the problems as well.  Few updates are perfect.  Most of us know that from our own home computers where every other week an update is sent out to fix a previous update.  On top of all the fixes, we also have to be careful to not download a virus, a trojan, or some other potentially harmful program that will lock up our computer.  It all sounds so complicated doesn't it?  However, it is not nearly as complex as the human mind nor is it as easily corrupted as our hearts become if we download the wrong things.
     During the years that I home educated our children, we had a verse posted in our school room.  It read:  "I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.  I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me" (Psalm 101:3).  This Psalm of David sets forth a very important principle which we tried to teach our children.  Whatever we allow to enter our minds can affect how we behave.  Just as a computer can download things that can create problems, so we can allow entrance to images, books, movies, games, magazines or other media that can cause us to stumble in our daily walk with Christ.  Once we have given entrance to these harmful things, they are not always easy to over come.  This is due, in part, because we have a marvelous memory that God has built into our brain.
     When we became believers, God did major surgery on our hearts.  The scripture tells us:  "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are new people no longer bound by our sinful ways.  However, we are not yet perfected and we still have this proclivity to sin.  The difference is that once we are in Christ we have a choice to sin or to remain faithful.  This is why it is so important that we be careful what we take into our minds and eventually our hearts.  The Bible instructs us in Romans 12:2:  Do not conform 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."   The only way to renew our minds is to fill it with God's Word and to study in fellowship with other Christians.  Please do not misinterpret what I am saying here.  We can read other books, but we should evaluate it in light of the Bible.  Will it cause us to stumble or be drawn away from Christ?
     In the same way, we really need to consider what types of T.V. shows we watch as well as movies we see.  While most of us do not think that something can have a negative impact on us, we need to take the admonition of scripture seriously.  God knows our weaknesses.  He has given us His wisdom and His Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.  Therefore, we need to use the resources He has provided us with so that we can continue to grow in our faith.  Our goal is to have the mind of Christ as we walk each day rather than the mind of the world.
     Having had computers for a number of years now, I know how difficult it is to get rid of a virus or trojan once it gets into the system.  In the same manner, it is difficult to get images out of our head from seeing something or hearing something we should not have.  The best plan is to avoid those things which cause us to stumble in sin.  Just as we try to protect our computers with a virus program, so we also need to protect our minds as the Apostle Paul describes in Philippians 4:8:  "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."  If we follow his advice, we will do well in our daily walk.  The choice is ours and it has never been more important to our witness.  Selah!

I welcome your thoughts and insights.  Your words of encouragement are a blessing to me and all who read this blog.


Pam said...

Excellent post, Barbara. I agree wholeheartedly. You always speak the truth in love in your blog and I greatly appreciate your honest, forthright posts. Thank you!
Pam at 2 Encourage

Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you Pam. I try my best to encourage others with what I write. God always is reminding me of areas I need work I pass along the things He has shown me. As always, love to have you stop by and share your thoughts! I pray you have a blessed day today!