We live in a world that is constantly inundating us with images and messages. As a result, these messages become our thoughts, this affects how we behave in front of others, how we view ourselves and our lives. We have a choice to make: either to dwell on what society throws at us or to be vigilant in guarding our hearts and minds against the enemy and his lies.
One of my biggest temptations is comparison, especially when I’m scrolling through Pinterest. I start thinking if only I could have her legs or that sweater then I would feel better about myself. I’m so aware of how others look and what they’re wearing. For example, I could leave my house looking great but when I see another girl looking better than me (in my opinion) I suddenly feel like I don’t measure up. Part of my problem is the amount of time I spend on Pinterest, filling my head with pictures of airbrushed models. Part of this is my sin nature. My inherent ability to not view myself as God has created me. Instead of thinking of myself as fearfully and wonderfully made I start to dwell on my flaws. Society permeates what an ideal woman should look like. Or at least Pinterest is influencing my view of what I should aspire to look like. What we focus our thoughts on becomes what we dwell on and this, in turn, influences our actions.
To guard our hearts and minds it’s important to set boundaries based on biblical principles. Each person’s convictions may vary, but it’s important to yield to what the Holy Spirit and God’s word says is appropriate. Many quotations on Pinterest say things like “Follow your heart” or “Do what makes you happy”. Doing the right thing according to God is not always going to be fun or what feels good. It’s important to remember that:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
You cannot trust your heart because it will not lead you in the way of truth, Satan is trying to deceive us and feed us lies. This also applies to the “if it feels good do it” mentality. I may not feel like going to the gym but this will benefit me. Obviously, it would feel better in the short run to stay home and eat chocolate. Many people fail to consider the long-term results of their short-term pleasures. We must be vigilant in making choices that honour God. This comes from a heart that loves God and His word and desires to please Him. God does not expect us to be perfect and not have fun. In fact, Jesus says in John 10:10:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
God wants us to have full, exciting lives. He gives us commands and admonitions in scripture because He loves us! He created us and therefore knows what is best for us. Even when we mess up if we humble ourselves and repent of what we did wrong He is merciful and just to forgive us! In fact, nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39)! How comforting to know God will never leave us or abandon us. How many people do you know that are this faithful?
God is very clear on specific issues that are sinful in scripture. You may be wondering what about the things he doesn’t specify. Then we turn to the principles laid out in Gods word. 1 Corinthians 10:31 is a great starting point
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
When you’re not sure if something you’re looking at or listening to is approved by God, think about whether this action brings glory to God. Personally, I don’t like watching or listening to media that contains a lot of profanity, using the Lords name in vain, sex, a storyline based on carnal pleasure, or nudity. Sometimes I can be caught off guard like when I’m at a movie theatre. In this situation, I try to look away so as not to send images to my brain that I don’t want to remember.
It is so important to study God’s word for what He has to say and to memorize scripture. You can train yourself to determine what is appropriate or not appropriate. It’s tough to be vigilant and make good choices or change the channel. Ultimately this is part of becoming more like God, part of becoming sanctified (1 Peter 1:16). We are called to become more like Christ each day. Obeying God is an act of worship, we are saying thank you that He sent His perfect Son Jesus to become sin for us and die on the cross and conquer death the punishment for sin. We could never have satisfied Gods price for sin. The only way He will accept us is if we through faith in Jesus Christ accept His gift of salvation.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
I want to encourage you to put God first in all areas of your life, not because you have to, but because you love God and desire to please Him.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23