By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD
If we want to live right, we must think right. That’s a “no-brainer,” as the saying goes. But the fact is, it is easy to become careless about what we allow into our minds. Many of us would not start smoking tobacco, knowing what it does to a smoker’s lungs. We don’t even want to spend much time in smoke-filled places for the same reason. So, we avoid such places to protect our lungs. We need to be even more cautious about what we allow into our minds, for what we allow into our minds either helps us or harms us.
Therefore, we must be on our guard when it comes to what we look at on TV, on the internet, in movies, and in literature. We must also be careful about the music we listen to. All of the above have the potential to put harmful thoughts into our minds, and if we allow such thoughts into our minds, the outcome will not be good.
Let me give just one example of a TV program that is not good for us. I have never watched more than a few minutes this program because of its blatant sensuality and sexuality. The ads for it on TV certainly emphasize this program’s sensuality and sexuality. What is the program? “Dancing With The Stars.” I am convinced that DWTS is so popular, not just because of the skill of the dancers, but also because of its sensuality and sexuality. This program is contributing to the acceptance of low sexual standards among it viewers because it diminishes the Biblical concept of the sacredness of intimacy and sex between a man and woman who are married to one another. Such intimacy is to be kept private, not hinted at on TV.
Now that these frank statements have been made, let me follow them up with the fourth chapter of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippian Christians. The key verse is verse 8. I put it in bold print to easily pick it out.
Philippians 4 Modern English Version (MEV)
4 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brothers, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my beloved.
2 I exhort Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 I ask you also, true companion, help those women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with my other fellow laborers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let everyone come to know your gentleness. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things. 9 Do those things which you have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Acknowledgment of the Philippians’ Gift
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me. Regarding this, you did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 I do not speak because I have need, for I have learned in whatever state I am to be content. 12 I know both how to face humble circumstances and how to have abundance. Everywhere and in all things I have learned the secret, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me.
14 Nevertheless you did well having shared in my affliction. 15 Now you Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 Even in Thessalonica, you sent aid once and again for my necessity, 17 not because I desired a gift, but I desire fruit that accumulates to your account. 18 But I have everything and abound. I have been filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, like a sweet fragrance, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
20 Now to God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those who are of Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Modern English Version (MEV)
The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.