In Luke 8:18, Jesus says to take heed how you hear…but can we really do that? Then again, what can trap us quicker than what we hear?
Not only can we do it, it’s actually easier than you might think. Well, if you can get your flesh under submission, that is. That’s the hard part!
Be Honest With Yourself
This is especially important for those that might be new to the faith. But it’s also important for anyone and everyone.
The fact is that many of the situations we find ourselves in, we know in advance what we’re walking in to. Seeing someone drinking and cursing might not be commonplace in the grocery store, for example. But it’s right at home at music concerts and restaurants that double as bars.
If you think you can’t be a better steward regarding the things that you hear, you’re deceiving yourself.
I understand that’s a pretty bold statement to make, I really do. But we have arrived at a time when it’s going to take a bold faith. In this world of sugar-coated religiosity, we have to be careful that we are following Jesus and not the traditions of men!
The first step is to get honest with ourselves. If you really think about it, how much of what we hear are we really responsible for?
The Music Trap
The Bible says that we are to lift up and encourage one another with Psalms and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16). So it’s obvious that music means something to God. There are actually quite a few verses in the Bible dealing with music.
The problem is that, just like with so many other things, the enemy latches on and uses it to lead us AWAY from God. And music is one of his main weapons to get the word out for his own agenda.
Can you name any other way to more quickly memorize an entire 1-3 pages worth of text? Most people balk at the idea of memorizing a few verses of Scripture in their personal devotion time. But how easy is it to sing along with a favorite song after only hearing it a few times?
There’s just something about a melody and a rhythm that causes the words to stick in our minds and hearts like glue. Interesting then, that the Word of God says that, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45).
Before you know it, you’ve memorized songs uplifting things that should never be uplifted. And YES, I could take the time to name a whooooole lot of them.
But I’ll save that for another time…
Besides, there’s better music out there to listen to anyway.
The Television & Movie Trap
Another thing we can quickly memorize is the plot to a “good” movie or television show! Some people can talk about the latest episode or season of [fill in the blank] like they’re talking about something that actually happened to them. I mean they really, really take it to heart!
Like I did!
Have you ever seen someone just absolutely LIVID about something that’s going on with their favorite show? Or have YOU ever been that way? I know, because I’ve been in this trap myself, as well as the music trap, MANY, MANY times. So I’m not pointing fingers…I’ve walked it myself.
When you become tied to something that isn’t even real, you’re in a dangerous predicament. Because according to God’s Word, those aren’t the things we should be getting emotional about.
Think about it this way: do you get just as emotional over the things that upset our Heavenly Father? Because you should.
It should make you mad that these media outlets lift up things that God hates. Murder, infidelity, foul language, drinking, drugs, disrespect to parents, greed, gluttony and so much more. These are things we sing right along with. Or we wait to see it on television with the greatest of anticipation.
The Friendship & Acquaintance Trap
Let me start with the fact that in no way am I saying to cut out friends because of what you might hear.
Among Jewish people, there is a term known as Lashon Ha-Ra. Literally translated, it means “evil tongue”. It mostly deals with all manner of speech, not being allowed to be a tale-bearer or slandering another person, and all based on Scripture.
But it also means that the observant Jewish person should even excuse themselves from conversation if the conversation turns to gossip, slander and so forth.
Can you imagine? What would it be like if we put that into practice in our own lives?
Yes, I suppose you might have a lot of friends mad at you. But I bet you’d also be a lot more peaceful. While gossip is juicy and hard to turn away from, it doesn’t do us one ounce of good. It doesn’t build up us, the person telling the story or the person being talked about.
So what’s the point?
The point is, when we meet that friend or coworker for coffee or lunch, we probably already know what’s about to go down.
Did I mention it might be time to get bold?
Hard, But Worth It
It’s hard to walk away from certain things. But it’s so worth it. If you are able to get honest enough with yourself, you might find a lot of areas that you simply start to steer clear of.
For instance, I don’t sing the songs I use to. I don’t watch the movies and television shows I use to. At first, it was really hard. You might even try to convince yourself, “Come on, you know zombies aren’t real, it’s not like it’s really gonna hurt anything….”
But, before you know it, one compromise gives way to another. And that one makes you cave in to something else. And before you know it, you feel awful and it doesn’t take long to figure out why!
Yeah it’s hard. But I’ve found it to be worth it.