Shielding ourselves is an important thing to do. However, the importance of it often escapes us. First off, there’s the question, “What are we shielding ourselves from?”
It’s hard to imagine, but we are surrounded by things that poison us every single day. And when I say poison, I actually mean it quite literally. By exposing ourselves to these things, we are poisoning our relationship with God. This is the absolute last thing He wants to happen, but the good news is, you can keep it from happening. Let’s look first at what we need to avoid.
Probably the first things anyone would think of is movies. There can be some very inappropriate movies out there…not as in, “Shouldn’t watch them till I’m older”, but “Should never watch them”. Ever. Then it goes on to inappropriate books and magazines, bad language…the list goes on and on. You could probably think of some more.
The truth is, though, it can be hard to avoid these things we know we shouldn’t see/read/say/etc. The biggest reason is peer pressure. If your friends are going to see a movie you know you shouldn’t watch, it’s tough, isn’t it? They may make fun of you for wanting to stay behind. You may actually feel part of you wanting to see the movie too. But you need to ask God to give you strength to fight the temptation. Plus, get friends that won’t give you the temptation in the first place!
There is a verse in Philippians 4:8 that says, “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.” This means that we need to fill our minds with what is good (in other words, everything described above). It can be hard, but it is definitely worth it.
Sometimes we think that we can still do things we shouldn’t do and be okay. We think, “I’m strong enough to block out those bad thoughts. I’m still good.” But whatever you did now rests somewhere in your mind. It will come back, and it will be hard to fight back the evil.
The good news is is that through it all, through all our mistakes, God is still standing with us! He is still encouraging us, helping us to defeat the evil and live for Him.