I’m sure you are all anticipating the new year just around the corner. You are probably thinking of what to wear tonight and where you are going to be when the clock strikes midnight. I want to share one more thought for you as you prepare to make changes for a new year:
Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are.
A couple years ago I ran across this scripture and it had always made me wonder to just what extent this means. Obviously acting ungodly and participating in immoral acts is shameful. Choosing to do things that are sinful is clearly against the commands of God but have you ever taken that thought deeper to just thinking about or talking about sinful things? I have to admit I have participated in immoral acts in my past and even more, I have talked about immoral things way too many times to count.
Part of being Christian is our desire to change and become Christ-like. When I really decided to change my life, among other things, I knew that part of that change included the conversations I participated in. I love to joke and have a good laugh and I am guilty of saying things that are not anything you would hear coming from Christ’s mouth. No, I’m not just talking about swear words......that is one thing I am pretty good at avoiding, it is the course jokes that might come up at a friendly get together. It is joining in on a conversation that God would not approve of. Since that very vivid morning when I woke up determined to change my life I have been working very hard on this very scripture. I have not perfected it yet but I pray that my friends are seeing a change in me. More importantly, that change, that refusal to talk about certain things, is shining light on the topic or conversation at hand. Maybe not right away, but over time, His light will make it clear that those stories and those conversations are not acceptable to God nor in the life of a follower of Christ.
What do you talk about in the dark? What kind of movies do you watch? What kind of books do you read? What kind of internet sites do you frequent? Yes, I don’t doubt for a moment that the things we watch and read are things that we don’t necessarily agree with, believe in, or physically participate in. What worries me is that we are putting that dark, sinful stuff into our minds! We shouldn’t even think about sinful things, we shouldn’t give them the time of day! I learned in a devotion that once we laugh at something we are making ourselves vulnerable to compromising our faith. Every time we compromise just a little bit for this sin or that law we break down our belief and our morals weaken just a little bit more. For example, if I joke about casual, unmarried, immoral sex and watch it on television and in the movies, after a while I won’t think a thing about it. Sex will be cheapened and it will no longer be sacred. It’s not enough to know it is wrong.......we have to live like it’s wrong. When we are against something, we shouldn’t want anything to do with it.....that includes talking about it.
While you are thinking of a new years resolution I hope that you will take into account the message I have shared with you today. I hope that you will look closely upon your life and the things you talk about and participate in. I hope that you will consider finding out what is pleasing to the Lord. I pray that you can see His words in front of you and realize the importance of eliminating small compromises regarding God’s commands. God loves us and He has dreams of us all growing closer to Him this year. Please take this scripture and apply it to your life. Stand resolute in the ways of the Lord! Watch your life change and your relationship with Christ grow deeper.