How on earth do we decide we decide where to draw the line on this? If we decided to completely ignore anything graphic, then we wouldn’t even be able to read the bible!
In the comments section of a previous post several people mentioned wanting to get rid of things they deemed unhelpful, maybe books, music or TV shows. This got me thinking about this subject, how personal it can be to different people, and how I set my own standards on this. As I was thinking about this, three bible verses popped into my mind.
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. (Phil 4:8)
The bible commands us to think lovely thoughts. I’m pretty sure that its hard to watch TV shows which are vile and keep our minds pure. Soon we start thinking about what we have been watching and our minds become polluted. I think this can be especially dangerous in the music we listen to. How often have you found your self singing a song you had heard, only to realise exactly what you are singing! Song lyrics can so easily get stuck in our brains, and can seem impossible to get rid of once they are in there!
Ask yourself: is this keeping my thoughts on track?
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. (1 Cor 10:23)
All things are permissible, not all things are beneficial. Just because something is technically okay, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Filling our minds with certain things could lead to obsession or dissatisfaction with our own lives. That’s not a good idea, let’s try and watch things which are beneficial in someway. Even if it is just in helping us to unwind.
This is something which will be different for everyone. Some things may have a negative affect on some people but not on others. This may be where you need to spend sometime asking God to help you make wise decisions.
Ask yourself: is this beneficial?
Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. (1 Cor 8:13)
This verse is a response to one of the hot topics in the times of the early church: is it okay to eat food sacrificed to false God’s? Paul responds to this by saying that, yes, it is okay, as long as by doing this you are not leading other believers into sin. If they see you eating food sacrificed to false God’s would it make them think that its okay to worship them as well!
As Christians we not only have a responsibility to ourselves, but for others too.
Maybe listening to Taylor Swift sing about her long list of ex-lovers doesn’t have a negative impact on me or you. We can listen to it and not want to emulate her lifestyle.
But what about others?
I don’t know, but maybe your friend who hears you singing along thinks that you agree with Taylor Swift, and that it is okay to stumble.
Ask yourself: will this have a negative impact on other believers?
At the end of the day, this really is a very personal thing, and different people will have many different opinions, for their own reasons.
One last thing: nobody has got this perfect, we all make mistakes, so please don’t be judgemental of people who maybe have lower standards than you. The Holy Spirit convicts people at the right time, if you are worried about them, pray.
These are just a few of my own thoughts on this subject, please, please, please share your own wisdom, I would love to hear it!