A popular Christian group, Casting Crowns, has at the end of one of their songs a child singing a kids church song that goes like this, “be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love so be careful little eyes what you see.” The song goes on to say “be careful little ears what you hear…be careful little feet where you go” etc. The song is for children, but the message is for everyone. The bible says “out of the heart, the mouth speaks” so we must be careful to “guard our hearts for it is the well spring of life” (Proverbs 4:23)
As Christians we are to be holy in all parts of our life, not just our “church life”. Holiness, I think, actually Begins at home (or work), not at church. Church is the place you will hear things you are not to do, or watch, etc, but where this will be put to practical use will be elsewhere. Jesus criticized the Pharisees and the other religious leaders for looking the part and acting the part but actually being hypocrites. Our Lord had very harsh words for these “white washed sepulchers full of dead men’s bones”, things we do not want to hear Him say to us on the day when we will meet Him face to face!
God’s Word is the place to start to teach ourselves what God wants us to do and not to do. The Bible is for every day, not just Sunday. You don’t feed your body only on Sunday, why would you feed your spirit only on Sunday? Your body would begin to waste away on such a meager ration of food, as will your spirit on a meager ration of the Word of God.
Christians should in no way be any different inside the church than they are outside the church. The face you show at church, to your pastor, your friends, etc. should be the same face you show to your family at home and coworkers. Holiness is a LIFESYLE and not an option. This is where we must guard our “spiritual gates”.
Everything we say and see and hear affects how we are. For example, if I choose to watch shows on television that promote an ungodly lifestyle, casual sex, lying, cheating, harming others, then I become calloused to these things and begin to accept them as the norm, rather than sin, as God views such things.
A good example is couples living together, as well as having sex together, before marriage. I dare say that you would encounter some very strong negative reactions from people should you express a view that this is wrong or so much as dared to call it sin. Unfortunately I believe you would find that Christians and non-Christians alike would consider this behavior “not so bad”.
However, looking back as little as a generation ago, to our parents, you would find a very different view of these same things. Now, has the thing itself changed? Is living together and sleeping together any different now than it was 50 or 60 years ago?
Were any fewer people sleeping together outside marriage?
So what has changed?
Only the viewpoint has changed because in the years since then, mostly due to television programming that shows all of these things, cohabitating, premarital sex, single parenthood, as if everyone does it and if they don’t then they are the ones who are “out of touch with reality” or absurd. And the more we see it done, the less we think about it in the negative.
You have to guard your eyes and ears against this. It does not matter how harmless you think it is, and this might sound cliché, but it is true none-the-less. You must filter everything you say and do and watch as if Jesus were standing beside you, because He is. If you watch a show on TV that you would turn off if your pastor (or Jesus) were in the room, you should turn it off, period. If you say something that you would not say if your pastor (or Jesus) were in the room, you should not say it. You can apply that rule to anything you do or say and if you would not do or say it if Jesus were in the room, then you should not say or do it, ever.
Think of it as toxic waste. You wouldn’t put toxic waste in your body or in your house or around your family. Why would you let spiritual garbage near them either? You would be much better off with the toxic waste in actuality because Jesus said in Matthew 10:28: “do not be afraid of those who kill the body but fear only God who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” That is how you guard yourself and your spirit from contamination.
Yours in love and in Christ, Sonya Richards
“My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. He will not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:2-4)
Please join us next Saturday for PROTECTING YOUR SPIRITUAL GATES, Part 3: The Armour of God.
(To access the entire “Protecting Your Spiritual Gates” mini-series, please click here.)