“Oh, be careful little eyes what you see . . . ” Most of you are probably very familiar with the children’s song about being careful what you see, where you go and with what you say. The same goes for see no, speak no, hear no evil. And then there is Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.“
I’ll be the first to admit to reading things I wish I hadn’t. I still read things occasionally that go beyond fluff to ridiculous.Those celebrity headlines that pop up on Facebook can be oh so tempting. But I am much more careful about what I read now than I used to be. I used to read just about whatever I could get my hands on. Good, bad, Christian, secular, fiction, history, science, you name it. And even as a child, certain things stuck in my mind that I still remember today. I remember being so saddened by the story of Hester Prynne , getting angry about life with Gilly Hopkins, I remember getting caught up in the excitement of the battles and peril with Frodo for the first time.
Even (sometimes especially) fiction, yes FICTION, has a lasting impact on our minds. While it can engender creativity and stimulate amazing and in-depth conversations, it can also damage. Those bits of story that stick in your mind and pop up at the most inopportune times. One recent scene I still vividly remember is in the opening pages of Water for Elephants. The scene disturbed me so much I didn’t finish reading that page or the rest of the book. When I was younger (somewhere in the neighborhood of 20) I read the book The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red. I had nightmares for a year. You cannot tell me that because a book is fiction it doesn’t make an impact.
So before you pick up the newest “hot” book or just one you think looks interesting off the shelf at your favorite bookstore, ask yourself if, based off the descriptions and what you have heard or read about the book, is it worth allowing into your mind? Is this something that is true and noble? Could it damage your view of something you hold sacred like your marriage, your faith or your self image? Could it plant seeds of discontent or faulty logic. Could it effect the way you treat others or cause you to be judgmental? Could it numb your mind and heart to the things that break the heart of Christ, which should also break our own hearts?
Try going a week using these principles to determine what you will and won’t read (and if you’re into TV, what you will and won’t watch) and see if you find yourself with a more clear perspective and a more open line of communication with God. If you find there is static in your direct line, chances are you need to clear out the clutter, dust and grime
What is some good advice you have or have had shared with you in regard to what you read and watch? If you have a post, please leave a link in the comments!