Breaking the Mold
First, as always, some scripture:
- Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
- Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
- Ephesians 6 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
The world says violence is cool, yoga is good for you, all paths lead to God, ’the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’, we’re nothing but evolved pond scum, etc. We (Christians) swallow it all without tasting, filling our minds with garbage. We won’t watch a movie that isn’t at least rated PG-13 and try to justify viewing film after film as either harmless entertainment or just wanting to see the bad guys get slaughtered. We take in popular fiction “to learn how the lost think” while completely ignoring how God wants us to think. No wonder most believers are terrified at the prospect of witnessing; it’s like going out to battle in a swimsuit.
Tell me, Christian, how you justify watching fictional bad guys get beat up and then protest the execution of real-life murderers. Tell me how watching two men in a cage try to maim each other makes you a better, stronger spiritual warrior. Explain how letting your kids play violent simulations won’t affect them in spite of studies that prove otherwise. Stand before God and tell Him why watching sports that glorify maiming and humiliating one’s opponent was good stewardship of your time and money. Argue your case (remember Job?) before God that you were good because you gave Him lip service once a week.
We are here to be tested, not pampered. We are here to “study to show yourself approved” (2 Tim. 2:15), to grow in knowledge and wisdom, to mature to the point of being teachers of the Word. But instead we spend most of our spare time in self-indulgence, in feeding the flesh. Certainly there is a time and place for rest and recreation, but we have some pretty twisted notions about the amount and nature of our leisure moments. Will God be impressed at our skill in video games, or our trivia database, or our collection of all kinds of stuff that made us happy?
No, what God wants to know is what we did with what He gave us. Do we have free time? Enough money for more than bare necessities? Access to great works written by Christian authors? Any and every translation of the Bible ever made? If you live in America you have all that and more, so what do you think God will expect of you?
Don’t let the world rob you of the rewards that could be yours.