"Do what it says."
Sitting on the porch this morning watching the kids play, I focused on memorizing the first chapter of James. I am very close to this goal and I've noticed that God will stop me on specific verses that he wants me to meditate on. Today, it is James 1: 21, "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." I must have repeated it 10 times before stopping to think about how it applies to my life right now.
3 years ago, we stopped listening to all secular music and that decision has played a big part in my growing faith. I don't doubt that others can have strong walks with Christ and listen to secular music, but for me, to constantly have songs of praise filling my house and my thoughts, brings me back to Him constantly during the chaos of my days. We also trimmed down the shows/movies we watch to shows that do not include cursing, sex, violence, etc... mainly PG is what we watch over here on date nights. With the new season of shows starting though, I have found myself getting excited for a few of my "guilty pleasures," such as Grey's Anatomy, New Girl, Parenthood... So, while meditating on James 1:21, I hear God say, "Get rid of ALL moral filth." But God, I have to get rid of my shows? "What does ALL mean to you?" So, just to make sure, I looked it up online in my Greek/Hebrew interlinear Bible. All = Pas in Greek, which means, each, every, any, all, everything. Okay God, I realize that You want me to get rid of ALL the moral filth, but I don't really want to. God says to me, "Read the next few verses..." James 1:22-25, " Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word and does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But, whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it- not forgetting what he has heard- but doing it, he will be blessed in what he does."
As I sit here typing this, I'm a little bitter. I know that to strengthen my faith and my walk, I need to give up these silly shows that do not glorify Him in any way. It's hard though, because it seems like something so small and insignificant, but clearly it's too much of an idol if I have to debate this much with God about it. I don't want to be numbed to the "moral filth that is so prevalent." I want to grow more like Him everyday and I don't think He would be amused by some of the things on my favorite shows. I challenge you, friends, to join me and seek Him. What is it that you need to "not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves?" Do what the word says and you will be blessed. What a simple, yet great promise.
"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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Phil. 4:8-9