Yesterday, I took the time to catch up on a couple of shows that had been waiting on our DVR. We've DRASTICALLY cut down how much TV we watch, partly because it's re-run season and mostly because our standards of what is acceptable has changed. It REALLY didn't take long to get caught up this time.
The main show that I had to watch was the last two episodes of "19 Kids and Counting". Regardless of how you feel about the number of children the Duggars have and their take on birth control, it's an amazing show. There is ZERO doubt of how much they love their kids, how responsible they are, and that GOD is ABSOLUTELY number one in their lives. NO room for doubt! Adriana and I have been hooked on that show for years!
I kept thinking about the statement that Michelle made on the last episode. She said "You wouldn't put garbage in your mouth, so don't put it in your mind!". Hello? I loved it. It's the same thing we've been discussing in our home on an almost daily basis over the past six months or so. Her statement was just a great one that put it very visual for us!
Her statement was in response to media. They were discussing Internet and TV for the most part. Contrary to what people might think, they haven't banned it completely. They are just VERY picky about what they choose to watch or look at. We have to decide what is garbage and what is appropriate by "our" standards. It applies to books, movies, TV shows, and music. For our family, we've even taken it a step farther and it even applies to clothing. For us it goes beyond modesty, it also includes advertising. There are stores in the mall that I refuse to shop in. Sex may sale to the world, but not to my family!
While those type things obviously fall under the category of garbage and not being allowed, I began to think about the statement on a deeper level. Again, I was awake much of the night and back up early this morning thinking about it. GARBAGE! Our standards in books, movies, TV shows, etc... may be more rigid than many (or most!), but we've set our standards and now we have to make a daily decision to live by them. What got me thinking was the "OTHER" things.
What about the garbage that I do allow? I fill my mind with GARBAGE all day, every single day. The garbage I'm talking about is negativity and wrong thinking. You're not good enough. You're not capable. God isn't listening. God really doesn't care. You've messed up so bad now that you shouldn't bother trying to do something right next time. What you're doing doesn't matter. There is no way you can make a difference. He doesn't care. He doesn't love you. They don't care if you exist. This time will be no different than before, so go ahead and set yourself up for failure.
How many more of those statements can I add? Plenty. I fill my mind with it all day. GARBAGE! Would I dare tell my children a statement like that? NO WAY! Then why is it acceptable to let those statements go through my mind? It's not! It's time to stop living a double standard in my own mind.
I'm not exactly sure how to stop that garbage thought process and it isn't something that will happen overnight, but it is absolutely something that has to be done. I think it does start with continuing to follow our standards in choices of what we watch or listen to. It also involves continuing to read God's word and praying. Not just in passing, but PURPOSELY and openly. It's about letting my prayers go deeper and letting more walls come down. It's also about recognizing the "garbage talk" and immediately stopping RIGHT then and saying...THAT'S not true and replacing it with the truth. It's even about choosing to be around people that lift you up, and limiting our time around those that bring us down. WE ALL have those people in our lives and even though we should love them, pray for them, and do our best to ALWAYS let God's love shine through us....we don't have to bow down and let them step all over us. I've also learned that when I'm feeling at my worst and down on myself the most, the best thing for me to do is to encourage someone else. Somehow that act trickles back and restores my own mind to TRUTHFUL thinking.
So today, if you've also got a bad case of garbage thinking....why don't you find a way to clean up your thoughts too. LET GOD'S TRUTH soak in and clean it up. You don't pick up garbage and eat it, so let's not fill our minds with it either. Let's watch what we expose ourselves to as far as what we watch and listen to, but most importantly let's pay attention to the thoughts that enter our minds. Those thoughts left "unchecked" end up getting more deep rooted and harder to clean away if we aren't careful.
Off to do some cleaning. Literally and figuratively!!!