Every day you receive messages from the world around you…
God has blessed our bodies with five senses. Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Touch.
These senses are information inboxes! They bring messages to our body. These messages we receive through our senses cause our bodies to react, voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily.
Voluntary or Involuntary?
~When you walk into Cracker Barrel and breathe in wafts of hot chicken dumplings, your mouth begins to water – literally, extra saliva arrives preparing the mouth to receive food. These messages cause your body to react involuntarily.
~At your friend’s bridal shower chocolate eclairs are served – your favorite! Your first and second pieces were so enjoyable that you snitched a third piece when no one was looking. You received messages from creamy chocolate eclairs and you voluntarily overate.
~ As streams of people flow out of the airport terminal, you anticipate reuniting with your sister who is arriving from out of state. At last you spot her and run to meet her open embrace. When you are meaningfully hugged or patted on the back (touched), your body releases endorphins, which actually are healthy to your body. These messages trigger involuntary reactions from your body.
~ Walking through the mall, someone who is inappropriately dressed catches your eye. When you blush or are curious your body is reacting involuntarily. Staring is a voluntary act.
~ Sometimes the lyrics to secular songs you’ve heard in stores start playing in your head. These messages involuntarily creep into your thoughts. Dwelling on them is voluntary.
To keep with the email lingo, some evil influences come into our lives unsolicited or against our desires. We weren’t looking for them (e.g. worldly music, cuss words, badly dressed people, etc.). This is like receiving spam/trash mail.
In these cases, what we are responsible for is how we choose to respond when we are faced with the evil. Second Corinthians 10:5 says,
“Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
If we don’t handle wisely the unsolicited “spam” messages we receive through our senses, we may decide we would like to correspond with them regularly.
This is an intentional relationship that is being developed. At his point, we’re intentionally feeding our bodies with sinful messages and voluntarily acting upon them. We are soliciting or inviting sinful influences into our lives.
“Be not deceived,” warns I Corinthians 15:33, “evil communications corrupt good manners.”
Also called Spy-Ware, viruses creep into your inbox in disguise. You don’t know they’re there until your computer begins to act up at best – or crash at worst. Without realizing it, you may have invited evil influences into your own home!
How can you detect viruses, evil communications, or any trashy messages your “inbox” may be receiving?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. – Philippians 4:8
If in Doubt…
If a message you are receiving is questionable the best thing is to stay away from it until you’ve gotten some answers.
Pray about it. Sincerely ask God to show you what He thinks about the influence. Be open to His gentle promptings.
Search the Scriptures. Do a word search or topical study. Find out all you can about the subject. Let God’s Word speak for itself; don’t twist it to say what it never meant.
Ask a godly leader for advice. This may be a parent, pastor, mentor, teacher, etc. Many times others can easily see warnings of which we are unaware. (The devil likes to offer tricks disguised as gifts – remember the Trojan horse?)
Come to Your Senses
Since our bodies are “wired” to react in certain ways to certain messages we receive, we need to be on the lookout for potential hazards. It’s easier to avoid evil than it is to resist temptation to its face.
Avoid sources of questionable influence. If your source of entertainment parades things that God hates, this should raise a red warning flag in your mind. Feed your senses sinful messages, and you will begin to voluntarily or willfully respond in sinful ways.
On the other hand, if you feed your senses messages that honor the Lord, you will begin to desire these kinds of things.
What kinds of messages are you feeding your senses?
~ We are currently compiling a list of resources that are geared to uplift and encourage Christian young people in their walk with God. Please leave a message sharing your favorite titles!