What we expose ourselves to, is of crucial importance. The pictures I look at, words I read, sounds I listen to, the thoughts I allow myself to entertain. These all affect my character and either push me away from God or draw me closer to Him.
Some influences we cannot help coming into our references area, but most things we can. As we commit our day to God, He will overrule in everything to keep us close. The other influences we must learn to keep away from and limit their impact on our psyche and spiritual walk with God. Light and darkness do not go together. Where the light shines, the darkness is dispelled.
The information we permit into our lives is a choice to be made and a deliberate attitude and direction towards continuing holiness and truth in our lives. In our culture, information is poured out relentlessly and it is difficult to work out truth from lies. The influences of sights and sounds can change us and attract us to wrong attitudes and deeds.
The necessity of daily reading and meditation on God’s word, and communion in prayer have never been more necessary. When I lay off these spiritual activities, then the gates are open to the flood of filth that washes over everything. The mind becomes swamped and discretion and judgment becomes tarnished.
There are other books to read, which can fortify the mind against the deluge. Reading theology, apologetics and other helpful books, will also give strength of character to us. Some writings are difficult to read, but to follow the mind of the writer, can build up our spiritual knowledge and understanding. There are Christians from the past who can still help us today and give us great and deep lessons in how to live.
What we read affects us. If we read drivel, we will be shallow. If we read and study God, there are depths to swim in. It will change our thought patterns and strengthen faith. We can also get bad ideas from reading challenging material. Our sinful mindset will get the idea that we are somehow better than others, because we read more difficult material. So the benefit of reading is countered by our sinful attitudes. Pride always crouches at the door.
This is not an excuse to stop reading, but we must face the enemy and put unhelpful ideas and thoughts away from us. As we challenge ourselves, we can prove the power of God and we can learn to wield the sword, better, faster and with greater accuracy. This is when we realise who we are and what Christ has done for us. This is the backbone of Christian assurance. To lay off and rest on what others say to us, will undermine personal faith and spiritual eyes will be dim.
If you can read, you can make progress by using this gift that many do not have. You can use it to help and encourage others and God will build you up and your spiritual gifts will grow and bear the fruit of the Spirit in your life…