Put the broom and dust pan away. We aren’t cleaning the physical house today. We are cleaning the spiritual house.
During my early years trying to figure out how to grow as a Christian I noticed that some Christians stood out of the crowd. But I didn’t, I blended in with the world for years after accepting Christ. I struggled with the idea of how to keep myself from becoming exactly what I asked Jesus to save me from.
I need all the help I can get with this and I believe it all starts in our minds. Our minds are something to protect and nurture and this is something to pray about.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Well, my lifestyle didn’t prove anything for God’s perfect will. And I didn’t understand how to have a renewing of the mind, I thought exactly like everything I seen and heard and wasn’t any different than before I accepted Christ. So, I prayed to Him, “give me the thoughts that You want me to have. Help me to see things the way You want me to.”
Serious prayer was needed as my efforts had already proven that I couldn’t do it alone.
I knew I couldn’t protect myself from everything in the world but my home could be a safe place for my mind. I not only was the same as the world while out in the world, the world was in my home and I was numb to most of it.
Television, radio and internet are in our homes. If we can’t get away from corruption in our home where can we go to protect our minds? I think back to before I became an empty nester and still had my children in my home. I was supposed to protect my children and yet by being busy and passive I was bringing and accepting corruption in their living space.
Although, since becoming a parent 30 years ago, I have had an issue with television and spent years fighting it in my home. Fighting it, is as far as I went. I look back now and see that I sent confusing messages to my children. They knew we had limits on what would be tolerated on the television but there was no way I could ever make it for perfect viewing. Now I can see, the more it gets past us the more we all become numb to it. The object that families are centralized around, is filled with images representing things that Jesus sacrificed Himself for. I look back now and see that I filtered TV for my children based on what I could handle not on biblical truth. Besides, being busy and tired, I was also blind.
The idea of not having a television in my home never crossed my mind until a few years ago, long after the kids are grown and out of the house.
The big question: what are you supposed to do with your evening and weekends if you don’t have television? I laugh hysterically at this question today! Seriously, was I really that narrow minded to think I would have nothing to do without television? Thank the Lord, my life is more than television.
Radio – Recently, I posted about radio and phone apps. Besides visually, we also fill our brains through what we hear. I have listened to many types of music in my life and over the past few years I stopped listening to all types of music stations that are not Christian. If I am in someone’s vehicle or in a public place where music is played and hear something from the long-lost past, I have been shocked that I didn’t used to hear the lust that I hear in the music, as I listen today. I don’t know if I was numb to the message of a lot of songs or if it was because I thought the same lustful thoughts at the time. Probably both. I have also realized that music played a large role in my young expectations of what dating was supposed to be. (I also realize that not every single song on the radio is filled with lust, but am shocked at how many are)
Magazines, books, the internet…. what are we allowing ourselves to read and view in the form of pictures? I have been shocked for years and still am shocked at the pictures on magazines at the checkout line placed in perfect eye level of young children.
Do we select our reading materials with purpose or are we casual and have let our guard down in this area too? Including gossip on social media and celebrity gossip in magazines. How does it glorify God to give attention to “who married who, who cheated on who, who is divorcing who?” We don’t even know how much of this “news” is true. Seriously, what does it have to do with me? What value does it have?
The Israelites were instructed to “heed to themselves” when they were being warned about idolatry. Are celebrities simply idolized? And who is doing the idolizing? Lets be selective with our reading material.
Our Relationships. I experienced a phase in my Christian walk that I realized I had some relationships that were doing nothing for the Lord. And spiritually, they were bringing me down. I am not talking about acquaintances or friendships that at least one of us is being fed spiritually. I am referring to close friendships that have no fruit.
One relationship, developed into nothing but negativity during our encounters and I would find myself getting home complaining and thinking about all the gossip that I was just filled with. My head would spin with “who did what”, “who went where”, “what they should have done” etc. The following days I found myself gossiping.
Once I realized what I was allowing myself to become, I had to put limits on the relationship and learn how to put a stop to the conversations when they got started. I have enough thoughts in my head that I have to fight off, I certainly don’t need my “friends” to fill me with more. The relationship didn’t last much longer and I was disappointed in myself when I realized how long I allowed such a shallow relationship to go on. Apparently, I allowed myself to simply be a sounding board for gossip and permitted it to become part of myself.
I could elaborate on relationships that I thought I had to have and relationships with the opposite sex that I have ceased or voiced boundaries on but I don’t think it is necessary to make the point. Sometimes we simply need to have a desire to clean house of the ideas, thoughts, habits and relationships that are not Glorifying the Lord in our everyday lives and be intentional with our conversations.
If we are truly allowing our relationship with Christ to be the most important relationship we have then we need to protect the relationship and the blessing that He gives us by having an opportunity to have a renewing of our minds.
Please understand, I am not trying to tell anyone to cease any relationships, change your radio presets nor to get rid of your television. I am sharing experiences that I have benefited from after much prayer to have my eyes opened and for God to renew my mind. Also, how shocked I am at how much I do not miss worldly radio or television. Besides the fact that I spent way too much money on tv and I do wish I would have removed it sooner, when I had children at home.
Where is the joy and contentment in a corrupt home? We get enough corruption outside our doorstep that we have limited control of but we can control what we allow in our own homes.
If we don’t control our homes, who will?