Well, since it's pretty much official that I'm the world's biggest fuddy duddy, I might as well add fuel to the fire.
This topic has been on my mind for a while. What were they thinking? No, I'm not talking about the movie The Dark Knight...although the question does apply. I'm talking about the way we approach life. What are we thinking might be a better title.
If I base my life on the Word of God and follow the admonition that whatever is good, pure, honest, of a good report - to think on these things, (Phillipians 4:8), then my way of doing things will understandably change. For as a man thinks, so is he. (Proverbs 23: 7). The question is, am I thinking on things that are good, pure, honest, of a good report? Do I choose my movies, my tv shows, my music based on this or do I simple go with the flow...downstream.
Do I spend my time finding the good in others, or do I lean toward seeing their faults? Do I look for the good in each day, or spend my moments complaining about what didn't go right? Do I fill my thoughts with garbage or do I fill them with the things that fit Phil. 4:8? I don't even have to answer that...basic human tendency is to gravitate toward the negative....but I guess that's the point. I'm striving not to be more human, but more like Christ in all that I say and do. Not that I'm holy or anything...I'm as flawed as anyone you will ever meet - more than most I'd say. No, it's not about having achieved, it's about wanting to be more like Christ so that the world sees HIM, not me. Christ found the good in people, even the vilest of sinners and forgave those that hurt Him. He did not condone the behavior and say "Well, that's just the way things are today." AND - He didn't pick up their ways of doing things as we often do. (Kind of makes me wonder who the rap stars of His day were...and how he'd have reached out to them.) Yes, Christ is the model, but do I follow Him?
What did Christ fill His mind with? What I fill my mind with will usually determine how I act, or re-act to the world around me. If I fill my mind with fluff - you know the stuff that's neither good nor bad - then I probably will react in ways that make no difference to the world around me...or worse, in ways that harm. If I fill my mind with things that are evil, I find myself gravitating toward reactions of fear, hate, etc. and we know where thoughts like that can lead. But on those weeks when I have really spent time with God in His word allowing Him to teach me, then I don't react, but I act and even I can see the difference it makes.
I'm tempted to go off on what I see has become the mental diet of teenagers, but I won't. This isn't about preaching to teens, it's about examining my own life. I did overhear one teen tell another that it's just the way they think...God understands. I have to believe that God does understand and it breaks His heart....that they have been duped by the devil and his lies. They have taken the bait that they have to be just like the world. I hope that someone will be able to speak into their lives and help them see the truth.
Seeing the Dark Knight made me realize how as a society we fill our minds with violence, evil, and every manner of wickedness and because it's packaged the way it is, we call it entertainment. We listen to music that glorifies infidelity, and hatred and don't even realize we've allowed the thoughts access to our head. Am I willing to look at what I am allowing into my life for what it is and truly question it? Is anyone? Am I willing to ask myself would I allow a garbage truck to back up to my house and drop every manner of filth into it and never question the way I allow tv, music, and movies to do? Or, am I willing to say "create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me?"
I can't change the world...but I can allow God to change me.
For those who have seen, or plan to see The Dark Knight, this is a great site....don't worry, it doesn't tell you not to see it: http://www.dare2share.org/students/the-dark-night-of-our-world
For a really good study on Phil. 4:8, I found this blog. Thank you to Susan Godfrey for putting in the work to find the original meaning of the words true, honest, and of a good report.