May 1, 2017/So Where Do You Keep Your Mind?

I can still hear that distinctive melody. The pounding notes of the beginning stanzas of the ‘William Tell’ Overture. And then came the dialogue proclaiming the arrival of the cowboy galloping onto the screen.

Five o’clock in the afternoon always found me watching ‘The Lone Ranger’ with the eagerness of a young girl who loved horses, loved cowboys, and loved the simple stories where good overcame evil, and the friendship between hero and his faithful friend illustrated a bond of honesty and honor. Then on Saturday mornings there was ‘Roy Rogers’ with his wife Dale Evans, riding Trigger and Buttercup their horses, who carried them off to find and dispatch bandits usually allowing them to live until corralled by the proper authorities. And, of course, there were the ‘Mouseketeers’ on the ‘M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E’ show.

There weren’t many television programs to choose from when I was growing up. Children weren’t allow to spend a lot of time inside watching television. Cartoons were simple. Bugs Bunny always managed to outwit Elmer Fudd. Mighty Mouse could be depended upon to save the day.

For children living in the ’50’s life was innocent. We were spared hearing or viewing ‘adult’ situations as we were sent out of the room when such things were discussed.

Today, children are bombarded by news and entertainment every day. With the advent of tablets, cell phones, computers, and cable, we access everything in the world: facts, statistics, opinions, and commentaries/ pornography, graphic violence, tirades of bigotry, and perversions.

We have twenty-four access to anything we wish. Which is why, society is running amok with its insistence on demanding that our culture exist in a shade of gray, rather than choose between black or white. We no longer need to sit and give thumbs up or down for the gladiators in the Colosseum–we decide life and death through the internet…often basing our viewpoints on rumors or ‘likes’.

So what does that mean for Christians?

Proverbs 10:2-Treasures of wickedness profit nothing:
but righteousness delivereth from death.

We’ve been warned. All the way back in the Old Testament, God was instructing us to flee from evil. (It is sort of a constant theme, ya know!)

Does that mean we are to listen only to hymns or Christian radio and television? To become so separate that we speak only to other believers? To withdraw so much from the world that we have little in common with others?

I don’t think so.

THAT WOULD BE TOO EASY!!

Focusing solely on non-participation with the world would leave us with little ability to win others to Christ. What’s more, it would quickly work to put us in danger of becoming prideful, legalistic, and lacking compassion.

Christians must be discerning. We must pray for sound judgment. Those in Christ know when the path they are about to tread is the wrong one. The Holy Spirit warns us loud and clear.

SO PAY ATTENTION!

Jesus made our way pretty clear in Matthew 13: 3-9-And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

We are to be the type of leaders who are in the world for the long haul but work to ensure that we don’t allow ourselves to become focused on the ‘world’s standards’. We are God’s first and foremost…and if that means we don’t agree or practice the ideals of others, so be it.

We are different in that the very basis of our faith DEMANDS that we see things in black or white because we follow God’s rules, not man’s.

Paul also speaks on this in Galatians 6: 7 & 8-Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;

A farmer who plants seed corn has ears of corn sprout and grow–but along with the corn come weeds.

God has given us the Holy Spirit to walk with us daily; the Scriptures to show us His directions; and Jesus Christ as our example and Savior.

Be careful what you hear, see, and do. Keep yourself open to God and allow Him to lead you, but also aware of the current happenings around you so that you can find common ground with which to show Christ’s love.

Christians need to put their minds on who, what, and where God leads; neither rigidly closed nor worldly open…

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