Think on these things

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Php 4:8

I have been amazed by the coverage given to both the Casey Anthony trial and the Anthony Weiner scandal.  The media has given a disproportionate amount of time to these stories.  Before this there was the Tiger Woods story, Charlie Sheen meltdown, the Arnold Schwarzenegger affair and countless others.  Many places I go, these are the topics of discussion.  It seems that every time we turn around, there is a new scandal or affair filling the airwaves that attempt to keep us focused on these trivialities rather than on what matters.  I can understand the world being obsessed, but Christians?  And the spreading and telling others of these things is nothing less than gossip, which is defined as, “idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.”  Does this sound like what is going on?  In a word, Yes.

It is very important that we discipline ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit to reject filling our minds with worthless thoughts and ideas that have no true value.  Many movies, television programs, magazines, books, etc are not worthy of our attention.  Why do we need to know what is happening in the private lives of famous actors and actresses?  What benefit does that have for us, especially the type of information that is reported on?  Why are there people running, fighting and pushing people out of the way to be one of 50 people to have a seat at a trial of a person they do not even know?  Most only want to hear the horrible details of a young girl who died at a very young age, or scandalous facts about a young lady who appears to have made tragic decisions that will haunt her for the rest of her life.  Why do we feel compelled to joke about and ridicule a man who sent inappropriate pictures of himself to women he did not even know except through social media sites?  Instead, we should be praying for him that he would find the truth, repent, and get his life back on track.  This man’s life is in shambles, and the humiliation must be almost unbearable, not to mention how his wife must feel.  We must remember what Jesus said, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”  Luke 6:31. Would we want the world to hang our dirty laundry for all to see?  Would we want our embarrassing and humiliating mistakes and problems to be exposed to the whole world?  I know I would not.  Let’s pray and choose not to get involved in these conversations.  Grace is what is needed here.

As for entertainment, it is getting more and more difficult to find movies and programming that do not have inappropriate content that we have no business seeing or hearing.  Clothing has become so provocative that it leaves little to the imagination.  Language in the form of sexually explicit or innuendo fill the dialogue.  Even situations the characters find themselves in are way out of line.  What used to be R rated (basically only for adults) is now considered PG-13, OK for our teenage children. The violence has now become so prolific that it has become gratuitous, taking away from the storyline.  However, in some cases, the violence is the storyline, but the graphic details are totally unnecessary.   But many Christians see these things as mere entertainment and nothing to be concerned about.  They are not affected by it, so they think.  However, their sensibilities have been so dulled, that it would not surprise me if they would have flocked to see people being torn apart by lions in the great Coliseum at Rome if they had lived back then.

We need to stop and take a look at what fills our hearts and minds.  Most of us are spending more time following the debauchery of famous people we don’t even know then evangelizing the lost or discipling Christians.  We are not taking the time to study the Word of God in order to give an answer to the hope that lies within us, but we have more than enough time to act as voyeurs, looking for the next juicy tidbit that we can share with our friends and colleagues.  This should not be.  We should prioritize what we spend our time on based upon importance.  The sad thing is, many who find little time for God’s word but plenty of time on gossip probably do set their priorities based on what is most important to them.

As Christians, we should be filling our minds with God’s Word, our hearts with His love, and our life with His work.  We are not to engage in trivial matters that have no eternal importance, but instead engage in the service of God to reach the lost, encourage the downcast, make disciples of the nations.  How can we do these things if we fill our time learning worthless facts about strangers, or fill our minds with words and images that will produce temptations to sin?  Paul said to think on those things which are:

  • True
  • Honorable
  • Just
  • Pure
  • Lovely
  • Commendable
  • Things that are excellent and worthy of Praise

If what we think about, or strive to know does not fit into all the categories above, then we probably need to re-think what we spend our time on. The time is short and the laborers are few.  God has called us to go into the highways and byways to compel a lost world to come into the saving grace that only Christ can provide.  If what we focus on does not equip us to fulfill that great commission, it is not worth focusing on.  And God will hold us accountable for how we spent our time.

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2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. That is one of the reasons I don't watch the news… or only listen to the radio for an hour or so. I think it's a great post!! What would you say about within Christian circles focusing on the negatives, as an extreme, Westboro 'Baptist' where they only focus on the sin of the world, where Paul in going to the Corinthians, And I believe we are a lot like them now a days, confessed to know nothing except Jesus Christ and himself Crucified?

    Do you see a correlation between the two (that 'church' and Paul versus Christians and your post topic)

    – Mr.Funkhouser

  2. The real reason for all the cheap stuff in the movies, on TV, in magazines and the news is because the people behind the scenes have been in those businesses for a long time and they know what sells. It sells because it appeals to the flesh, which sin nature is always lusting to try and satisfy. The flesh is insatiable though, so the flesh keeps on lusting and dirty (earthy) stuff keeps right on selling. Christians need to recognize that participation is an activity of the flesh and choose to walk in the Spirit instead. Excellent blog, Bill. It should be made available as part of daily devotional book.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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