What is feeding your soul?

 In Tori Smith


In a home with a teenager and a 10 year old, I find that I am constantly watchful over everything we watch on TV, listen to on the radio, or go to the movie theater to see.  I listen with different ears these days.  TV shows that, before I would have watched and even laughed at, are now ban ned from air time.  I’ve shared that with several of you. I’m not talking about adult after 10 PM shows. I am talking about banning after school, before 9 PM, and half-hour sitcoms. Shows that are full of humor, but use that humor to hide subtle – or sometimes not so subtle – attacks against God and living the holy life.

A few weeks ago the Disciple Fast Track class was reading through the Gospel of Matthew.  In the 15th chapter, Jesus warns against what truly defiles us.  Listen to His words as you read this passage from Matthew 15:10-20.

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand:  it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”  Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”  He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.  Let them alone; they are blind guides.[c] And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”  But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.”  And he said, “Are you also still without understanding?  Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?  But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

Living with a 10-year-old boy, I am very happy that eating with unwashed hands does not defile us.  There have been times that, with love, he has prepared something for me to eat – and you can SEE he didn’t wash his hands…..but a little bit of dirt only makes the immune system stronger – right?

It’s not about what goes into our mouth, rather what comes from the heart – out of the mouth.  And where does the heart get the information and the “food ” that it uses to sustain the spirit?  It gets it from what we take in through our eyes and ears.  Before the kids moved in, I was watching and listening to things that were sending defiled messages/information into my heart and spirit.  That was causing me to become desensitized to things that were wrong, that were offensive to God.  Sometimes we try to justify what we are taking in through our sight and hearing. We say it was only a little bit of humor, or act as through what we are doing doesn’t bother us – as though we are made of armor. But the bottom line is there is no justification for allowing those defiling thoughts to enter into our spirits.  There is enough in this world that Satan uses to attack our beliefs. We don’t need to mindlessly feed our spirit the fuel he uses to lead us astray or to cause us to lead defiled lives in any way.

Instead of submitting our spirits to the thoughts that defile us, we need to be exceedingly vigilant with our eyes and ears to guard against defiling messages. That may mean protecting our eyes by giving up our favorite sitcom or  afternoon soap opera (yes I went there).  It means that we protect our ears from the negative, life-killing messages that are being spoken through gossip or slander. Or it might mean turning off the radio or buying a new CD. And hear this – not only does it mean taking away the defiling messages, it means replacing them  with messages from God. Deliver His Word through songs, sermons and alternate TV shows that are life affirming and feed us truth – all in an effort to keep our hearts clean and pure.

While paying attention over the last couple of years to protect the kids, I’ve noticed what it has meant for me as well.  So I encourage all of us to screen the things that we expose our eyes and ears to, so that our hearts will remain pure and a place where Christ will choose to dwell –  for it is His place of residence…..right?

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