Catalyst: Personal Laptop

28 02 2008

219467_ibook_g4_1.jpgIMAGE: Personal Laptop. Our minds work like a computer. They only spit out the data they have been fed. Garbage in, garbage out. Leaders are disciplined about what they invest in their mind and heart. They deposit a steady and balanced diet of people and information for them to lead effectively, and not get distracted from the work God has called them to do.

VERSE: Proverbs 4:20-25

LEARNING: A number of years ago, one of the TV shows Kathy and I watched was ER. Great drama. Great show. (What? It’s still on…talk about beating a dead horse…people move on. It’s 2008. ER is so like last century). We watched it for a few years until one episode. In the opening scene 4 or 5 couples woke up in bed together. No biggy, the only problem was not one of the couples was married. I remember thinking, “What am I watching? I don’t think is this is beneficial for me.” And so I tuned it off, moved on to other programming and never went back. Now it was a the right decision for me. I needed to fill my mind with better stuff.

Okay…here’s where it gets tricky. Most Christians make one of two WRONG choices when it comes to “Garbage In – Garbage Out” stuff. BOTH of these hurt the kingdom of God.

  1. Get all holy on everyone else. They would get all preachy and tell people that ER is no good. When ER comes up at work say “I don’t watch that garbage,” complain about the liberal media and be condescending about anyone who watches it. In their arrogance, they turn off anyone who does not follow Christ. Man, I really can’t stand Christians like that.
  2. Ignore God and do whatever they want. These followers of Christ don’t have a God filter on anything they watch, say or do. When God is knocking on the door of their heart to draw them to live a life of Christlike character, they ignore it. In doing so, they keep God at a distance and their relationship with Christ becomes just religion that they do on Sunday. Man, I really can’t stand Christians like that.

    Here’s my #1 GIGO verse for life with Christ. I Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.” I’m free in Christ to watch anything, but everything might not be beneficial to me. If it’s sin, then it’s clearly wrong. But a lot of decisions are not clearly sin (TV, Movies, etc.) which leaves many decisions in the “Grey Area.” Which means what might be wrong for me, might not be wrong for you. Here’s my thoughts…

    If you struggle with #1, get off your high horse and stop acting like a Pharisee. Let your love lead your life and not your words.

    If you struggle with #2, wake up! God cares about ALL of your life, every part. God wants to personally lead you to become more like Him. Listen to Christ this week and allow him to change to you from the inside out.

    Catalyst Leaders, which one do you lean toward? What do you think of this? Ever had a moment like this in your journey? This is a wild one. I want to know your opinion…let’s have a lively debate.

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    5 responses

    29 02 2008
    Amy

    Just this past week I had a moment while listening to the radio that I thought “What am I listening to? This is a bunch of garbage.” I made a decision right then that I needed to stop listening to that station in the morning. I’ve heard their DJ’s talk about how going to strip clubs and watching pornography are just normal things and are beneficial to us somehow. As I sit here and think about the things I’ve listened to on that station I’m appalled that I didn’t change the channel. I used to be much more careful about what types of things I watched and listened to but for some reason after I got older and married I relaxed a bit on these convictions. Well God is convicting me now and I’m seeing more and more how I need to fill myself with God’s Words instead of the worlds.

    5 03 2008
    Kim

    Amy, I’m glad you brought music into this discussion. This morning getting ready for work I was listening to Third Day on my ipod and what you wrote came to mind. I have always considered myself open to enjoying lots of different music, some of it definately nothing close to God honoring. I considered it part of my freedom in Christ and thought I was strong enough that it wouldn’t really affect my walk with him. This morning I realized that although secular music may not hurt my walk with God, Christian music definately builds me up and fills my soul with praise for God, which I know is God honoring. So I have to ask myself, what is my goal, to claim my freedom in Christ or to please HIM? This is not to say that I will ban secular music from now on, not everything is bad, but I can choose to use music not just for entertainment, but to minister to my soul and to praise and honor God.

    12 03 2008
    Denise Hillbom

    I agree with you both about the music. I know worship music sooths my soul more than any other. I have been struggling with something else, the TV.
    It amazes me how on any given night, I sit in front of empty, trivial, useless, tempting and unrealistic shows and enjoy it. Although I know all of the above is true it still affects my emotions and my thinking. I find myself sometimes wondering why I don’t have all that romance, adventure, material things and beauty with a perfect body. It distracts me from remembering that I am a beautiful masterpiece created by God and the radiance of His joy (most times).
    I love to read and wonder why I choose the tube (O’ sorry my age again, plasma) over Scripture and other spiritual readiing to feed rather than quench my soul. This study tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Phillippians 4:8 comes to mind, “…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…”. If I think about thies things mybe it will help me stay away from what my Dad used to call “the idiot box”.

    13 03 2008
    Brandon

    I also fall into the second category (I think most people at Epic make an effort to avoid acting holier than everyone else). I guess I have the same struggles with TV as the other posts, as there just isn’t a lot of tasteful content out there.

    Another struggle I have is choosing who to spend my time with. My “non-christian” group of friends are overall good people, but things like language, attitudes/viewpoints, and lifestyle choices make me sometimes regret associating with them.

    The garbarge in, garbage out analogy really made me think. There are only so many hours in each day, week, and month. If we don’t make a conscience effort to fill those hours to positive things that please God, how can we expect to live fulfilled lives?

    Tim, your story about ER made me laugh, as it’s very similar to my experience with Grey’s Anatomy. I use to really enjoy that show, until everyone started sleeping with each other and that’s all they focused on. I also turned it off and haven’t watched it since. Imagine a medical drama actually being about medicine.

    13 03 2008
    Tim Kade

    Brandon – that is hilarious! A medical drama actually being about medicine.

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