Purity Through Renewal
Written by Kat C-The Treasure Box
I did an experiment this past week. I allowed myself to watch many hours of shows that run on mainstream television. You may think that’s kind of a weird statement. Doesn’t everybody watch a lot of TV? Let me explain…
About seven years ago, God led me to do something different in our home. We changed the books we read, the movies we went to, the music we listened to, and what we watched on TV. We kept the television, but changed our videos and DVDs. No more mainstream television. No commercials, no sitcoms, no series, nothing. ABC, CBS, HBO, Lifetime. You name it, we didn’t watch it. In addition, we started reading the Bible more. As a result, my family changed.
How? It’s all backed by scripture:
Romans 12:2 NLT Donâ€™t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know Godâ€™s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
We removed the world from our home, changed what went into our heads, and got totally transformed. I call it GIGO: Garbage In – Garbage Out. What you put in your head affects how you live your life, how you think, how you act, and how you talk. It really does make a difference.
There was a time when I sold Amway products. I remember our leaders encouraging us to read books such as The Power of Positive Thinking, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, How To Win Friends and Influence People, The Five Love Languages, and many others.
All that reading of positive material changed much of my thinking patterns. I began to walk and talk more positively and with confidence. I was aware of people and their needs; I wanted to help more. Best of all, my outlook on life became increasingly hopeful, and I was able to meet challenges head on with a better attitude.
What you put into your head really does make a difference.
So what did I see this week? I picked a few “Family Programs” that were shown during Prime Time. I found that the most common theme was sex, sex, and more sex. Sex out of marriage, sex with one friend, then another, then back to the first one again. Sexual innuendos between a mother and her daughter’s boyfriend, sexual moves, sexual dress, sexual talk. Adultery, one night stands, sex that breaks off friendships, sex at an early age. SEX. Bleagh! I was sick of it! And I didn’t feel very nice inside.
How can any young woman keep her mind pure if she is watching this day in and day out, week after week, year after year? What about all the commercials? Many commercials have sex selling something. It is nearly impossible to renew a mind while watching this stuff.
Sex wasn’t the only thing portrayed. There was other ugly stuff acted out in every movie or show that I watched. Every single one.
After three days of watching these, I found my mind looking at things differently. Isn’t that interesting? I knew it was the world trying to get in through Satan’s use of the media. Praise God my spirit recognized this and rejected the things my mind was trying to make truth. But just three measly days changed how I perceived some things.
I would find myself wanting to gossip, looking at different classes of people with more prejudice. Divorce seemed an easier option. I also found that my attitude became negative and I didn’t feel very nice. I began to focus on bad situations and how I could get back with some sarcastic remark.
Paul had this to say to the member of the Church in Ephesus:
Ephesians 4:22-24 (The Message) Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everythingâ€”and I do mean everythingâ€”connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of lifeâ€”a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
We cannot take on an entirely new way of life if what we are feeding our brains is so sinful. God hates adultery, fornication (sex out of marriage), lust, disrespect and disobedience to parents, lying, cheating, stealing, homosexuality, etc., and yet that is exactly what these shows portrayed. Know what’s even crazier? The shows I watched were rated TV-14! What in the world would worse rated shows depict?
A life CAN be lived more pure in this world. There is hope for all of us to take on an entirely new way of lifeâ€”a God fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside. How? Five easy steps:
1. If you have not yet done so, be renewed by accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NLT) And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
2. Get really close to God by spending time with Him in prayer and in reading His Word.
3. Listen to positive, uplifting music.
4. Read books that encourage good character traits within yourself. The Bible, classics, and the partial list I mentioned are a great start.
5. Really, really, really be aware of what you are watching on TV and at the movies. Is it for God? Does it make you want to be a better person? Do you feel encouraged? Then most likely it’s a good thing.
I’m going to throw out a 28-day challenge. For the next four weeks do the following and see if it doesn’t change you in some way for the better:
- Spend 15 minutes or more a day in the Scriptures, and make prayer a daily habit. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer. Just spend a few minutes chatting with God about your day and praising His Name.
- Listen to Christian Music. There are many genres of Christian music and places to find them! Radio, Pandora, iPod, your local Christian Radio station online, etc. Cut out any music that is not uplifting. Just for four weeks.
- Read four books from the list following this article. One a week. Instead of watching TV or playing a video or computer game, pick up a book. Oh yeah! One thing about thisâ€”give each book a chance by reading at least the first three chapters. If it is not interesting for you, try another one.
- Be aware of what you are watching at the movies, on television or on DVD. If it does not glorify God or encourage you, then don’t watch it. Follow the guidelines that Paul gives us:
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableâ€”if anything is excellent or praiseworthyâ€”think about such things.
Gospel.com has this to say about this verse:
“Christianity isn’t just a big list of things to avoid doing and thinking. We’re called to actively pursue what is good and pure. This verse challenges us to focus our thoughts and efforts not on sin and the things of this world, but on things that honor God.”
So, if the movie does not leave you focusing on what is noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable, then leave it for now.
I know this is a radical concept, but I’ve lived the experience and seen great changes in my kids and in my home. But the greatest change is in my heart and my attitude. Joy and love permeates our home and our relationships with the outside world. A radical way to interact indeed!
As promised, here is a partial list of books. Let us know if you’d like a more comprehensive list and we’ll send you a list by email:
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (or the Teens equivalent) by Sean Covey
Who Moved my Cheese? by Spencer Johnson M.D.
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton Porter
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Sacket Series by Louis L’Amour
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
Redwall by Brian Jacques
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
After the four weeks are up, write in and let us know of your experience. Even if you just cut down and began taking the steps but didn’t do it all, go ahead and share. We’d love to hear from you.
God bless you, dear sisters, with much success!
Take a moment and www.katsmusings.com today