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Friday, January 11, 2013

Distracted from What You Know Is Right

In May of last year I dropped Directv. I had been a customer for seventeen years. I decided that it was time to cut the cord. They made it very easy. I have had no regrets.

My television had become something that I could mindlessly watch. I didn't have to see the things I really should be doing. Sometimes I didn't even pat attention to what I was watching. Someone said that more calories are burned while sleeping than while watching tv. I believe it.

Watching tv had become a distraction which invited evil into my home. I had gotten used to the language, the sexual immorality and graphic violence. I didn't subscribe to any pay-extra-for-sin channels but even regular cable is very edgy.

It is easy to be distracted by sin when you aren't doing what you are supposed to be doing. I still watch tv but I choose what I watch. I no longer spend an hour channel surfing until I land on something I shouldn't be watching. This has significantly changed my spiritual life. Even my congregation says my preaching has improved.

It is so easy to be distracted from what you know is right. It can be as easy as being in the wrong place. It is as easy as having an opportunity to sin. It is as easy as saying that no one will ever know. It is full of regrets for nothing can be undone. There is forgiveness but the past remains.

I have never gotten on a pornography website. I get plenty of offers. My emails are full of enticing messages but I delete anything that looks like it might contain material I don't need to see. I can't take the chance of going to one of them ever. I just might linger a moment too long. I just might be distracted from what I know is right.

I used to get these emails which would rate movies. It would say the scenes it contained, the words it said and the attacks on my faith it contained. I always wondered how those sending the emails could know this unless they watched the movies themselves. I was raised on a farm. I never had to stick my hands in the pig sty to find out what was mixed in the mud. I really don't know why I need the detail. The theaters have exits and the dvd players have stop buttons. You simply have to leave when you smell something bad.

Television and movies are simply two of the things which can distract us from what is right. It is hard to walk past the magazine stands at the grocery stores without seeing something that begs you to be distracted from what is right.

Now, I realize that I am a pastor and should be acutely aware of these distractions. What happens to the whose culture continues to approve things which are wrong. They are threatened with ostrasization if they don't join in. Imagine if there is no one at home after school. The distractions don't stop.

Lots of Christians try to live their lives as if they are on a diet but eat every day at Golden Corral. The food is right there and paid for. Most people will never lose any weight on this meal plan. They have to eliminate distractions by focusing on what is right. They have to bring their meals with them rather than eat out. They have to plan their meals rather than eat randomly.

So, the Christian must plan each day so that it will not give an opportunity for distractions from what is right. Think about it. David would never have committed adultery with Bathsheba if he had gone to war like he should. He was in the wrong place when he walked on his roof. The palace had gotten hot from the day. The roof was much cooler. From there he saw a woman taking a bath on her roof. It was a hot day. The roof was much cooler. No one would see her- except for the king.

And thus David was distracted from what he knew was right and did what he knew was wrong.

We aren't any better than David.

2 Samuel 11:1-5 (ESV) 1 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. ( Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” 

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