Tuesday, April 26

Restricting Certain Influences

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the word of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. --Psalm 101:3

What's the best way to ensure that you will not be affected by a negative influence? Avoid it altogether! The only way to guarantee that worldly things will not chip away at your soul is to disallow yourself to be around such things. By not giving evil even the slightest opportunity, you can do much to protect your spiritual wellbeing.

We are a generation that has been bombarded by the entertainment world. Have you ever quantified the total amount of time you spend either in front of the television or watching movies? The average move used to have a running time of approximately 90 minutes. In 1997, the Academy Award Winner for best picture was a whopping three hours and 13 minutes long! Since then, movies have lengthened to be upwards of two hours. That's a lot of information and influence to be cramming into your head in one sitting! This point becomes particularly interesting when you consider that the average college lecture lasts for a mere 50 minutes (or 150 throughout a week). How much of the time spent in idle entertainment is really beneficial for maintaining a lifestyle centered on Christ?

Maybe you're convinced that you remain unaffected by the media blitz. Consider for a moment the following slogans or taglines from a few commercials:
"Waaaaazzzzzzzzzzzuuuuuuuup!"
"Like a rock!"
"We do business the old fashioned way."
"What's in your wallet?"
"You're in good hands."

How many of those immediately enabled you to identify a particular product or company? Some of those are more than a decade old, yet they are still recognizable by our long term memories. I don't know about you, but that makes me stop and think about what else might be floating around in the recesses of my brain, including any harmful or negative memories.

When we surround ourselves with bad influences, it's only a matter of time before we exhibit negative habits or characteristics. God has called us to be separate from the things of this world. We need to stay strong and avoid ungodly influences and situations. It might be difficult to say no to certain things are first, but that's human nature. We automatically want to defy God and his ways, and every time we subject ourselves to ungodly influence, we give the enemy a stronger foothold.

Resisting the enemy and being strong in the Lord means that we need to look to God for the dedication and integrity it takes to avoid worldly things. Do not let the earth's immorality fasten its grip on you. Avoid anything that might ensnare you, and ask the Lord to help you get a change of scenery so that you can avoid negative influence.

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