By LESLIE LUDY
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Psalm 119:37: “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in your way.”
God asks us to meditate upon things that are true, right, noble, pure, excellent, lovely and praiseworthy. (See Philippians 4:8.) But in today’s modern world, it is all too easy to fill our minds with frivolous, meaningless, worldly distractions, even if we aren’t trying to. The moment we walk into a restaurant, mall, or grocery store, our senses are typically bombarded with worldly images, sensuality, and pop-culture icons. Even if we don’t willingly participate in these things – the sights, sounds, and worldly messages we encounter can easily clutter our minds and undermine our ability to be solely focused on Jesus Christ.
I have learned firsthand that it’s not enough for me to merely “disagree” or “disapprove” of the worldly images and messages that seek to assault my senses, but to proactively turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things, as Psalm 119 prescribes. I may shake my head and say “Tsk, tsk!” while studying a magazine cover that celebrates impurity or watching raunchy images float across a television screen. But this does not protect my mind from the damaging effects of those things. And while it’s not possible to walk around blindfolded, I do have the ability to look away as soon as I encounter an image or message that is opposite of God’s Truth.
A quote that has profoundly impacted my life says, “A pure heart is one to which all that is not of God is strange and jarring.” Despite the popular notion that Christians should become well-versed in the mentalities of modern culture in order to reach the unsaved for Christ, I have found that guarding my heart and mind against worldliness is a far better witness to unbelievers than allowing myself to grow comfortable with the perversion and blaspheme that is so prevalent today.
It takes focused effort and a reliance upon God’s grace to turn away from worldly images rather than staring at them with interest and curiosity. Modern media is designed to instantly grab our attention and “hook us” mentally and emotionally. But developing the habit of turning away from perversity and filling our minds with Truth has an amazing, cleansing, refreshing effect on our mind, heart, emotions, and relationship with Christ.
So this week, I encourage you to look away from worthless things, and instead fix your gaze upon the One who is without blemish or spot; the One who is beauty, honor, and purity itself. As the old hymn so beautifully expresses: