Everyone seemed to be excited about this new book. They were reading it, already talking about the sequel and there were rumors of a movie. That book was Shades of Grey. Several of my girlfriends could not wait to read it. I just couldn’t share in their excitement. I truly believe that once I put these images and thoughts in my head I can never take them out. They are there forever, for good or for bad.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
My husband talked me into watching a movie called Saw several years ago. It was pretty graphic in its gore and the story line was frightening to say the least. A man watched people’s sin and took it upon himself to punish them for those sins. He was brutal in the ways he tortured them, not just physically but even worse psychologically. The scenes and themes bother me to this day.
It's easier to understand that I need to guard my heart from a raunchy book or even a scary movie. But what about those things that don’t seem to be bad? I absolutely love the Hallmark channel! Movies that are wholesome, sweet and always, always end happy. What could there possibly be about sweet, wholesome and happy that I need to guard my heart from? Well, those can be a problem for me if I expect my husband to be that perfect romantic man on tv. If I always expect that happy, sometimes even unrealistic ending, I am shortchanging God, my husband and even myself. I am letting something that seems innocent take my heart from the important things in my life.
When I spend real time with God, reading his word, praying and being still waiting on Him, I find myself to be happier and more at peace. When I choose to limit that time and spend more time watching tv, reading fluff books or just scrolling through social media mindlessly for hours I lose, and so does my relationship with my husband and most important my relationship with God.
There is nothing inherently wrong with tv, books, social media and the hallmark channel in and of themselves. But even the cleanest and most wholesome of these things can take us away from our time with God, if we don’t make that time our first priority, our first fruit. If we make those other things our priority or give them the bulk of our time, they become idols to us, no matter how innocent they are. John warns us in 1 John 5:21 “Dear children, keep away from anything that might takes God’s place in your hearts.”
The best way I can guard my heart is to intentionally make time for God each and every day, and everything else will take care of itself.