Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Can a leopard change her spots?

It's a new year. I think I'm supposed to make resolutions or something.

   This year I would like to concentrate on being more pure. In today's world innocence is often branded as ignorance, and those that cherish it looked upon with disdain. But God says we are to be like little children, and part of the beauty of a child is how pure and simple each little mind is. Uncorrupted you might say. We often talk about being dirty-minded and immature as if they are desirable qualities, marks of a cultured and knowledgeable young adult, and we so rarely see those off-color jokes for what they are. If we know it's not pure and blameless and praiseworthy, why do we even say it?
Easy question: It's hilarious. 
Why is it hilarious? To put it simply, I believe the devil likes to make sin and worldly things as enticing as possible. And what could be more lovely and joyful and fun than a laugh? He's really good at turning God's gifts into something they're not, and I, as much (or more) than anyone, am guilty of falling for his clever ploys.
   God didn't send His son to die for the sexually immoral so that we could toss around a careless pun about them here and there. He set us FREE from it; we should be running the opposite direction, and yet we flirt with sin so regularly that it has become commonplace (I would go as far as to say totally accepted) to do so.
   And it's not just the sexually-inclined jokes. It's the profanity we use and the impure thoughts we think and the explicit shows we watch. We are becoming more and more desensitized by the minute, and I feel like there's so little any one of us can do about it!
This is where God comes in, and my prayer for the new year.
   For those of you who have more self-control and purity than me: You are not a stick in the mud if you don't laugh at a "that's what she said" joke. You are not ignorant or slow if you don't immediately think of a male body part when someone says "member" or "stick" or "johnson."  You shouldn't be ashamed to ask someone not to use profanity around you. You have the right to treasure and cherish and truly own the purity God has given you, and if someone else doesn't respect that, then they're not worth your time.
  My prayer is that more of us can start to put a foot down in situations we know are inappropriate, and use the minds God gave us in a way He intended. I believe purity is a foundation for any other righteousness we can ever hope to have credited to us, and without it we are no more than hypocrites.
Guys, this is hard.
  It's not an overnight thing, and I'll be the first to admit that I KNOW I'm not going to be perfectly pure in my thoughts and actions this year. In practice, this means staying away from words that are profane or suggestive (even the "little" ones that probably won't do that much harm), keeping our movie and TV choices in check, watching where the mind wanders, and more than anything trying to remain conscious of the fact that we need to be constantly putting forth an effort to let positive and praiseworthy things flow from our lips. 
  This is such a huge thing to try and tackle. Part of my new year's prayer is that I will not be overwhelmed at the enormity of the problem, and give up when I start to feel hopeless.  I'm like a leopard who someday wants to be a snow white panther (not a snow leopard cause those still have spots. Do snow white panthers even exist? Not sure. Will get info and update later); there is no way I'm going to get rid of the spots on my own.
The only way to change these spots is to let God wash them.