That was Pastor’s sermon title Sunday. There were several verses he gave us, but the center was a verse that is at the bottom of my blog page where I ask people to think before leaving comments:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)
I have had comments that did not fit anywhere within that description, and I’ve deleted them. It is quite possible to say things that are true, honest, just pure, lovely, of good report, with virtue and praise that do take a completely different path the the one I’ve written. Those stay, even if I do not agree with their point of view.
For example – even though the flowers in the graphic are lovely – and most would agree – none of us would select them and their “stems” for a wedding bouquet. Carrying prickly pear cactus down the aisle may not be at the top of my list, but someone may disagree with me there, too.
We determine what goes into our minds much the same way we determine what goes into our mouth. Intake nourishes, and incorrect intake provides the wrong nourishment, doesn’t it? What do we choose to see with our eyes? Job made a decision about that:
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? (Job 31:1 KJV)
Job made a specific decision not to look at a woman other than his wife. Similarly, Daniel made a covenant to keep himself pure:
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. (Daniel 1:8 KJV)
How are they any better than we? Did they have a closer relationship with God? Only by our own choice. Job served God, and basically was allowed to be an example. Daniel was taken by a conquering army and placed in a sumptuous prison. Want to trade places with either one of them?
Yet, in our own luxury (don’t deny it – we do live in comparative luxury according to time and place) we have not made these covenants, these contracts, with our senses to keep them focused on those things we’ve been told. Or, have you?
I have set some boundaries across which I will neither go nor invite into my life. That means I’m the last to know about some celebrities who display lifestyles in media that fall beyond those boundaries. Yet, headlines introduce their names, also giving me reasons why I should not learn more about them. No – I will not give recent examples. I will not give them space on this screen nor more time in my mind.
Yes, that is making a judgment about their lifestyle. Why not? We have an instruction book that has well defined what offers us the best nourishment and growth pattern. The Bible not only prepared me for a life beyond this one, it prepares me for the abundant life now.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:9-10 KJV)