Whatever is true, noble, right, whatever is pure, lovely, admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think on these things.
In my post Be Anxious for Nothing, I talked about avoiding influences that contributed to anxiety and depression. The “4:8 Filter,” which I’ve heard this verse called, will help you discern what to allow in your life, not only for mental health, but spiritual health.
I’ve been as guilty as anyone else about complaining about all the bad language and filth in movies and TV, but then going on and watching. It has been only since we have just about quit watching any TV and only movies we choose on Netflix that I see now what I was letting in. I watched just a few minutes of a sitcom with someone a couple of weeks ago and in that short time, there were several sexual innuendos and situations where the dad looked like a buffoon. We become acclimated to anything we are exposed to constantly. If we see dads as useless or foolish, it won’t be long until we think our husband/dad is too. If adultery and illegitimacy are the norm everywhere else you look, it will be the norm in your community and your home. (I’ve seen this attitude really change in the students I teach. Thank you, Teen Mom.) If you constantly hear profanity, you will certainly quit cringing, and very possibly will start speaking it yourself.
In our sermon last Sunday, the pastor mentioned the Durkheim constant– a principle that says a community can tolerate only a certain level of deviancy, and so if behavior worsens, standards lower. Case in point: when Rhett Butler told Scarlett his famous line, many were outraged. When more words were added, his little line seemed very tame! If you’ve lived very long, you can see a change in media (I remember when feminine products were first advertised on TV… ugh!), fashion, language, music, etc.
I could go on and on about the wickedness in which we live. But wickedness is nothing new, and it doesn’t surprise God. I think that’s why He told us to be in the world, but not of the world. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, remember, He also gives His people– not the “wicked sinners”– responsibility for turning the tide of the country.
I would humbly suggest that you filter everything you let in your life– what you eat, drink, see, hear, watch, think– through the 4:8 filter. If something violates your beliefs, throw it out! Don’t let it in your life. To be blessed by God, we have to walk with God, to know His word, to be obedient, and we can’t be adulterated by things that He hates. I’m tired of playing. I hope you are too.
This is the third in our Life Lessons from Philippians 4 series. Read Be Anxious for Nothing and Work in Harmony if you missed them. Also be sure to visit TeeKay at A Thimble’s Worth of Wisdom and simplyjuliana to get their views on the same Scriptures.
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