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. ~Philippians 4:8
Last weekend, while I was staying at a hotel, I was attempting to check my email on my laptop. Suddenly a message popped up on the screen. It said something like this—Security Warning: Your connection is not secure. Attackers might be trying to steal your information (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). Well, needless to say, I quickly disconnected from the WiFi and then established a secure connection somewhere else. It was troubling to think that someone might be trying to steal my personal information. That information could be used to steal even more from me—my money, my credit rating, my reputation, and more.
Later, when that pop-up warning entered my thoughts again, it occurred to me that I should be as concerned about my spiritual well-being as I am about my personal and financial well-being. Wouldn’t it be great if we were given spiritual warnings when we were about to wander astray?
What if, the next time you or I reached for a book, turned on a tv show, played a video game, or went to a movie, we received a pop-up message warning us if the content we were about to take in was not what God wanted. It might read something like this—Spiritual Warning: Someone may be trying to steal your soul – corrupt your thoughts, change your attitudes or actions, etc. Would you immediately “disconnect”? Would I?
Satan is like a hacker. If we ignore the warnings and give in to his leadings, we might just lose our souls. He will make his “sites” very appealing. He might tell us that “it must be good because it’s so popular,” or “that’s just the way the world is now,” or maybe, “you don’t want your friends to think you’re weird, do you?” Just like the many hackers on the worldwide web, Satan is sneaky and deceitful. He wants us to establish an insecure connection so that he can lie to us and lead us astray.
How can we stay spiritually safe? By seeking the most secure connection we can have—our connection to God. He offers the only safe place to entrust our spiritual well-being. If we spend time in His Word and in relationship with the Author, the warnings will become more clear, and we will be better able to discern the kinds of thoughts we should entertain, and the kind of outside influences we should allow in. I believe it does matter.
Do you believe it’s important to monitor what you listen to, watch, and read? Why, or why not?