Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge. Give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. (Proverbs 23:12, 26 / ESV)

Keep the garbage out. Our eyes and ears must be focused on God’s Word because our hearts and minds are influenced by what we see and hear.

“Oh, be careful little eyes what you see….oh, be careful little ears what you hear…” I remember singing that chorus as a child in Sunday School. What a foundational message for children to learn! Sadly, as we grow older, we tend to “loosen up” and gradually stray from that standard.

If someone dumped a truckload of garbage on your front yard, porch, and doorstep, what would you do? If you’re like me, that person would quickly regret such a blatant disregard for my property, health, and personal cleanliness. But are we as quick to launch a similar attack against the “moral garbage” being dumped into our lives every day? Sure, we all like to think we’ve established the appropriate controls to guard against sin entering our lives. We read the Bible, pray, attend church, and do all the things expected of Christians. But what are we overlooking?

Garbage In – Garbage Out 

As average Americans, we probably spend hours watching our favorite television programs – doing so without a moment’s hesitation regarding the subtle immoral influence on our hearts and minds. Very seldom is what we listen to and watch habitually regulated by the morality of God’s Word. How often do we ask, “Does this program fully support God’s holy and moral standard?” Or, “Could I honestly watch this if Jesus was sitting here beside me?”

What would happen if you made the following challenge for yourself and your family? “The moment anything comes up on my television show that compromises Scriptural morality, we’re changing the channel. If we can’t find anything that fully aligns to that standard, the TV goes off.” Think about the amount of “moral garbage” you would avoid – to say nothing of the extra time you’ve gained!

Let’s not become so morally desensitized as to forget that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). A little bit of “moral garbage” goes a long way. Jesus said, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34). What we allow entrance through our senses affects us. Jesus also said, “evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” come from the heart and “defile” us (Matthew 15:19-20). Garbage in – garbage out.

So, what are you feeding your heart and mind – God’s Word or the world’s moral garbage?

Discussion Questions
  1. How do your favorite TV shows line up with God’s standard of holiness?
  2. Will you accept the challenge to align your viewing habits with Scriptural morality?
  3. In what other ways have your moral values become subtly compromised?
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