Think On These Things
By David J. Stewart
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
We are living in the perilous times foretold in 2nd Timothy 3:1-7. America is not going to hell, it has gone to hell. It's bad enough that people crave the daily newspaper which is saturated with death, scandal, violence and filth; but that's not enough, they want to go buy movies that feature death, scandal, violence and every filthy sin imaginable. But that's not enough, they want to watch reality crime shows on TV that feature blood-stained walls, mass-murderers, sickos and psychos. The majority of American society cries out for more blood and guts, more sexual sins, more corruption, give us more, more, more. It is heathendom.
The Bible instructs us in Philippians 4:8 as born-again believers to think about things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, good news, things of virtue and praise. The Word of God tells us to... THINK ON THESE THINGS. Something is wrong with a person who looks forward to reading all the daily scuttlebutt and crime in the daily newspaper. Such people tend to be very self-righteous and hypocritical towards others who sin. If you want to learn more about the filthiest sinner and the most rotten person you can find, go look in the mirror.
American society is enamored with crime, bad news, perversion, sick-minded people and every sort of sin imaginable. It is evil. There is something spiritually and mentally wrong with a person who loves to read and hear about the misfortune of others. I realize that bad news is sort of like a train-wreck... you try not to look, but curiosity causes you to look anyway. Tragically, many Americans have become infatuated with bad news, crime and scandal. They love it. This is unhealthy for an individual, as well as for the home and society. It would be a wonderful thing if America could go back to a more simpler time when television and movies didn't exist. We ought not desire to see crime, bloodshed, violence, and every sin conceivable on the television screen. That is what the Devil's children desire.
As born-again Christians, we are supposed to preoccupy our minds with better things the Bible teaches. We need to focus and meditate upon things that are lovely, pure, of good report, virtuous and things of praise. The Word of God is certainly something that we need to think about continually. Psalm 1:2, "But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." It is no coincidence that television, movies and the newsmedia are saturated with crime, sexual sins, violence, and all manner of evil. Satan wants to corrupt society. Satan wants to undermine your home. Satan wants you to live in fear of walking down the street. Satan wants you to distrust your neighbor. It is a shame what America has become. So many people in society have become distrustful of everyone because of all the bad reports, crime, and evils things that they hear on the news. The truth is that only a very small handful of people are committing these crimes out of a nation of 300,000,000 people. The newsmedia love to create fear, panic and paranoia in society.
As believers, we ought to turn the television off and only read a limited amount of news from trusted Christian sources. We don't need to know all the gory details of every crime being committed in the world. Many people enjoy hearing of such things, which is a reflection of their evil heart. Christians should despise blood and guts type of horror movies. It's not good for the soul to see such things. The eyes are the window to the soul. There are many hobbies, subjects, activities and things in this world which are pleasant and peaceful, which are of good report and pure, which are acceptable to God to dwell upon. However, it is counterproductive to anyone, especially children, to view crime after crime on television. The TV desensitizes society to the awfulness of sin; whereas the Apostle Paul stated that "sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful" (Romans 7:13). The Word of God shows us the awfulness of sin. This is why the Bible has been banned from all public schools since 1963, because the Bible makes children aware of the awfulness of sin. Without the Bible, children readily accept abortion, fornication and homosexuality as acceptable lifestyles; but God's Word condemn such practices as sinful.
I would encourage anyone reading this article to seriously consider how much bad news, crime-filled movies and horrible things you watch on television or the internet. The Bible says that God wants all of us to think on things that are lovely, things that are pure, things that are of good report, et cetera. Sadly, most people think and talk about other people in a negative manner. Gossip is a sport, a cheap form of entertainment, to many people. It is sin. Why don't you talk about yourself, how rotten of a person you really are, and tell everyone that you love to gossip and destroy other people's names. Gossip is evil, rooted in self-righteous hypocrisy. Jesus said in Matthew 12:36, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." God is going to judge mankind even for the words they have spoken. No good work or evil work will be left unnoticed. We will give account to God for everything.
THINK ON THESE THINGS! Remember that phrase. God wants us to have clean, pure and virtuous minds. God wants us to think about good things, lovely things (not lustful thoughts), pure things, things that are honest, et cetera. The newsmedia are a bunch of liars. I don't watch much mainstream news because of all the lying propaganda. I hardly ever watch TV, because I choose to control what I think about. I would rather think about God's creation, spend some time in nature, ponder the Scriptures, play a musical instrument, cook a good recipe, do some gardening, build something, et cetera.
Someone recently said to me, "I wish I had all the talents you have." I told them that I'm not really talented, I just applied myself to learn different things. Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I taught myself to play steel guitar. I've been playing for 17-years. I started playing acoustic guitar 27 years ago. I play some banjo, harmonica, et cetera. I taught myself to cook. I remember the first time I tried to caramelize sugar and it turned black and I lifted the entire pan with the spoon glued in the burnt sugar. I learned by trial and error. Now I can make great homemade flan. I taught myself to make a website and built this ministry slowly by God's grace. I didn't know what I was doing when I started, but I had DESIRE. All the talent in the world means nothing if a person doesn't have desire. I'm not very talented, but I applied myself to certain areas and became good at them. A person can become good at just about anything if they do it long enough, even destroying other people's lives which some people are experts at. I've used my God-given abilities for good to help others. I've missed a lot of TV, thankfully. I spent my time doing something constructive. As far as I'm concerned, television is the biggest waste of time in the world.
We all have one life to live and then we must stand before God to give account (Hebrews 9:27). We all have 86,400 seconds in a given day. What we do with that time is up to us. Your mind is what you make it. Garbage in = Garbage out. I choose to use my time for God, for good, for things that are lovely (like music), for things that are pure (like teaching the Word of God), for things that are of good report (soulwinning), et cetera. I don't want to fill my mind with television's death, killings, filth and worldliness. You don't need talent, you just need to find an area of interest and apply yourself. THINK ON THESE THINGS!