“What do you need to cleanse yourself of today? Is there anything in your life that is defiling your body and mind? It could be that you are in an unhealthy relationship with someone who is not your spouse. What about the music you are listening to or the books you are reading? Are the television shows you are watching, honoring to God?”
The world is all around us. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We couldn’t hide from it if we wanted to. Quite frankly, I don’t believe God wants us to hide from it. I think he expects us to be “in the world, but not of the world.” (John 17:14-15)
What does that mean, you ask? It’s actually quite simple. God knows that it’s not possible for us to remove ourselves completely from a sinful world. We have to live in it. We have to go to work, we have to shop for groceries and clothing, we even have to go out for entertainment and fellowship. He doesn’t expect Christians to separate themselves from the rest of the world.
What He does expect is that while we must be part of the world we live in, we won’t take part in its sinful ways. We don’t have to listen to sinful music or watch immoral TV and movies. We don’t have to take part in the gossip of a nosy co-worker. We don’t have to allow ourselves to become involved in improper relationships. Remember, in the world, but not of it.
I’m a music lover. My musical tastes swing far and wide to include just about every possible genre. As I sit here writing this post, my iPod is full of music that would pretty much convince you that I must have multiple personalities. But the truth is, some of what’s on my iPod isn’t glorifying to God. There are a few songs that contain objectionable language and other songs that paint worldly and ungodly pictures. Those songs really have to go, if I am truly going to walk this walk.
The same is true for the movies and TV I watch. I watch a few TV shows in which the characters do things that are really appalling. I certainly wouldn’t behave that way or be friends with people who behaved that way—so why do I spend my precious free time watching characters in movies and on TV carry on in ways that are sinful and demeaning? Couldn’t my time be better spent? Wouldn’t God be more glorified if I spent that time doing something for Him?
And how about the anger we often feel—and sometimes display—when another driver cuts us off in traffic? When another shopper jumps in line ahead of us at Target? I don’t often display my anger for the world to see, but I sure do think it. The world may not know what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling, but God does.
These are the ways in which I need to cleanse my life, to be free of the ways of the world that hold me back and cause me to fall short of the glory of God. Oh, I’m sure there are more, but this is a start.
What bad habits do YOU need to let go of, to cleanse YOUR life?