Following the basics:
A blameless heart… keeping eyes from that which is corrupt… removing oneself from those who are fickle…
Living life is no picnic.
There are potholes, hazards, tripwires… All of these ensure that you watch your step; because each one of those traps will cost you dearly.
At the start, the traps seem harmless. If you stumble over one pothole you can think, ‘Oh, that didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would’. And so the next traps don’t bother you too much. The next time you look up to see what the damage is, you don’t even recognise what you see; it is complete carnage.
Everything you held dear is destroyed or dismembered because you didn’t care to watch out for the traps.
I have seen many people drop their guard to become popular; drop their guard to be liked or accepted by those who they want to impress.
I too want to impress; I too want to be liked.
But what cost am I willing to pay to be liked, to be popular, to be part of the ‘in’ group?
Am I prepared to sacrifice what I hold dear to be liked?
Will I follow popular culture just to get a few nods of approval from those few ‘special people’ who I know are watching; to get the WOW factor from those who I want to embrace what I do?
The cost can be so great!
It hurts me when people with promise turn to popularity and selfish ambition when they don’t need to.
Perhaps it hurts me because I am not a naturally talented man. I have had to work very hard to be good at anything; sport, music, being a husband, being a father… the list goes on.
But one thing I know, to put my whole heart into something means it costs me. It costs me time, it costs me money, and it costs me energy.
Why would I unravel what I have worked so hard for, just to keep up with popular culture?
All over this planet people are questioning. WHY? WHY? WHY?
And that is good.
Why choose to protect a blameless heart?
Why keep my eyes from that which is corrupt?
Why choose my circle of close friends based on upright character?
If I don’t have the answer, I just might be in trouble.
I might walk into that pothole of swearing and smutty language because I don’t know the damage I am causing. I might trip over the hazard of alcohol as I don’t see how I am injuring those around me. I might walk through the tripwire of pornography because, ‘Hey, everybody else is doing it’.
Our heart, our mind, they are precious gifts; gifts which need to be guarded and skilfully defended.
If I look for the answers in popular culture I will be disappointed, because the rules are fluid; they move with the tide.
My answers are found here:
‘How does a young person keep their way pure? By living according to your Word’.
My answers are found in the Christian Bible.
This is a place where I find consistency, where I find stability, where I find refuge and safety.
Psalm 101 (below) inspired me to write this post.
My cry is that if you have chosen to accept the love of God through Jesus Christ, LIVE your LIFE on PURPOSE. Choose integrity over popularity, hold your course for pure living, stand firm when people try to make you change to ‘fit in’.
Love God, love people, read the Bible, pray, and live life according to our handbook, the Bible, not popular opinion.
Psalm 101:1-8 [NIV]
1 Of David. A psalm.
I will sing of your love and justice; to you, LORD, I will sing praise. 2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life– when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. 3 I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. 4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil. 5 Whoever slanders their neighbour in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate. 6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me. 7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. 8 Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the LORD.