“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
The Bible makes it quite clear that, as Christians, we are called to live disciplined lives. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically we are called to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. In his letter to the Corinthians the Apostle Paul wrote, “Whether, then, you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31).
Since the pathway to the heart is through the eye gate and the ear gate, the Apostle exhorts us to deliberately think about things that are honorable, pure, lovely, and of good repute. The call is to discipline our thinking.
This is a tough call in the day that we live; for we are surrounded with visual images and sounds that demean and degrade the things that God calls holy, and to His children he says avoid these things.
King David understood this struggle and knew that every day he needed to be on guard against the influences of the world. He wrote, “I will give heed to the blameless way. I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless things before my eyes; a perverted heart shall depart from me. He who walks in the blameless way is the one who will minister to me” (Psalm 101:2-4, 6).
In the past month, I have read Ravi Zacharias’s book Recapture the Wonder, three times. In the book he says that one reason that Christians lose the wonder that God meant for us to enjoy is that we fill our hearts and minds with things that are not ennobling. In the book he writes, “I believe that if the church is to survive the onslaught of the world barren of noble thought it will have to be a place where thinking is restored.” In Psalm 45:1, the psalmist writes, “My heart is stirred by a noble theme…”
When we as Christian feed on a diet of the world’s base and vulgar entertainment, be it in the music we listen to, the things that we read, the television and movies that we choose to watch, something within us that is meant to be stirred by holy, pure, and lovely things, begins to die. And, like Israel of old, we no longer even blush at these things (Jeremiah 6:16, 8:12).
My friends, the church and its message and its ways are to stand out in stark contrast culture around us, not be sucked into it. The call of the Lord is to “…come out from their midst and be separate, do not touch what is unclean and I will welcome you” (II Corinthians 6:17). In the world, yes…of the world, no (I John 2:15-16).