Opening our local newspaper today, I came upon a cartoon in the commentary section. The message in the picture could not be more clear. There was a computer screen with the large word PORN on it, a collection of alcohol bottles and drugs, a movie theater marquee with the title "Chainsaw Sadists III Rape Rampage", a newspaper with a headline stating "Dropout Rate" and "Cyber Bullying", a gun with bullets laying next to it and a video game player with a screen that reads "Grand Theft Carnage". A dotted line runs by each of these pictures which is the path that two young children have just taken on their way home. The boy says to the little girl, "Why do our parents worry so much about us?" The message is very clear. Our society has done little to protect children from an all out assault of the profane, vulgar, immoral, murderous mindset portrayed in video games, T.V. shows, and the movies. Is it any wonder then that we can pick up a newspaper and read about a man who was babysitting his six week old baby and when the baby cried too much the man put the baby in the freezer, and went to take a nap for an hour. Fortunately, the mother came home in time to discover the baby and get it medical attention. Reports are that the child will live. Shocking? Yes, but it is it any surprise when our world promotes the idea that "if it feels good, just do it?" Even Christians can become ensnared by the vile things we put before our eyes.
Listening to the podcast of Alistair Begg this morning, he taught on "The Parable of the Sower and the Seeds" (Mark 4:1-20). As he discussed why some seeds do not put down deep roots, he mentioned an example of someone who came from a Christian home but who lost his way during his short life. Robert Louis Stevenson born in Edinburgh, Scotland was instructed by his nanny in the Bible and the writings of John Bunyan. His grandfather was a minister in the Church of Scotland, but Robert rejected the faith and turned, in later years, to a Bohemian lifestyle visiting cheap pubs and brothels. In fact, his own father came across the constitution of the Liberty, Justice and Reverence Club which stated: "Disregard everything our parents have taught us." Both Stevenson and his cousin Bob belonged to this organization. What corrupted his thinking that once listened to the Bible and the works of John Bunyan? He became enamored with the current artists, writers and philosophers of the day which more and more drew him away from the foundations he had at home. Even at this time in history, the devil was more than happy to offer alternatives to reading the Bible and serving the Lord. A sad note to his short life of 44 years was that while his parents were practicing Christians they did not teach young Robert the Bible
truths to live by. This was left up to the nanny.
David's Psalm concerning the walk of integrity (Psalm 101) says in verses 3-4: 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. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil." While David did not live up to all his statements, he desired to live in a manner that was worthy before the Lord. He sought out holiness, but found that neither he nor anyone else could do that without the help of God. Our flesh is weak even if our spirit is willing. However, why set any temptation before our eyes?
Today's Christian home has access to many electronic gadgets and tools which can serve a good purpose or be used in the wrong way. Carefully limiting and pre-screening shows that children may watch on T.V. is vital. Watching movies that are filled with illicit sex and violence also can numb the conscience along with violent video games that portray life as a cheap object to be blown to bits. If we think this does not impact the way in which we live, we are very wrong. It sets a wrong example for our children and infects our mind with sinful thoughts.
God has told us to put on the breastplate of righteousness so that we may guard our hearts. He has also told us to put on the helmet of salvation that we may guard our minds. The Lord knows the fierceness of the enemy and his crafty way of entangling us with a worldly mindset. Therefore, we need to be careful in choosing the things we set before our eyes. We need to ask ourselves if we would be comfortable with the Lord Jesus Christ sitting next to us as we go about doing a particular activity.
Paul wrote that we are to be "transformed by the renewal of our minds" (Romans 12:2). Being careful, therefore, in what we watch is key to growing in the Lord. It also sets a great example for our children and grandchildren. With this in mind, let us be careful what we introduce into our own thinking, our own homes and into our relationships. Just as we would never drink a glass of water with a touch of arsenic in it, we should not introduce things in to our homes that would cause us to stray. May God give us the strength and ability to walk in integrity and holiness all the days of our lives. Selah!