God is angry because things have gotten so badly that even his own prophets and priests don’t blush at the evil around me. I try to always be very cautious about this. Entertainment and communication have broken down so many of the barriers that might once have existed between Christians and the secular world. Sometimes its scary the things that I see every day that should make me blush…but don’t. Bill preached a great sermon on this several years ago about how we become numb to sin because it’s so prevalent in the world around us.
I will give you both a positive and negative example from my life of how I deal with this on a regular basis. I never watch horror movies (this is an easy sacrifice for me because I don’t enjoy being scared). A major reason I don’t watch them is just because of the evil and violence. I also watch very few rated R movies. Leah and I try to eliminate them from our house because it makes it too easy to stop being shocked by sin when it becomes entertainment. However, I find myself struggling to not talk like the world but to make sure everything I say is wholesome and beneficial. It turns out that having a two year old who repeats EVERYTHING I say provides me with an opportunity to think about what I want coming out of his mouth. If I don’t want him saying it, my Father probably doesn’t want me saying it. So that’s something I am working on. And if I was being really honest, I would probably need to cut a few television shows as well.
It’s so important that the leaders (and not just appointed leaders, but respected Christians) in Christ’s church recognize and blush and confront evil and sin when they see it in the world. Israel didn’t any more, and that was a problem.
There was a study done several years ago that showed that golfers who said to themselves, “I am going to hit this ball onto the fairway” before swinging the club actually had better scores than a sample group that didn’t. (I admit that I don’t remember the exact details of the study and I heard about it on the radio, but it sounds true.) Colosians 3 includes the same idea for Christians. If you focus on the things of God and think about the characteristics that he desires for us, then you are more likely to live that life.
However, if you find yourself thinking about anger, greed, lust, conflict, slander and filthy language then it’s likely those things will fill not only your thoughts, but your actions.
So today is one of those fun days when our readings fit together. Jeremiah reminds us the danger of getting comfortable with sin. Colossians reminds us that we should think much more on the things of God and we will become transformed people. So as you do (or don’t) set goals for 2012, maybe it’s time to think about what you need to take our of your life and what you need to be adding.
Happy New Year and thanks for continuing to join us on this journey through God’s Word!