"Your face is going to freeze like that!"
We have all heard our mother, grandmother, or teacher tell us these very words. That was my grandmother's immediate response whenever I made a face at my little sis. I had to stop and think for a moment as to what life would be like of my face did actually freeze with my tongue sticking out!
As I get older, I realize that things much worse are happening than peoples faces freezing in certain unbecoming positions. I think what is being pointed out in the previously mentioned statement, is that if we engage in a certain ugliness it will become a part of us.
My tongue has been sticking for a long long time.
Just like your face, when you are put in certain situations, you tend to pick up parts of that situation that become a part of you. When you are exposed to bad things, you pick up bad things. When you are exposed to good things, you pick up good things. They say that in a five year period, you become who you hang around with, what you watch, and what you read. (I don't know who "they" are so don't ask me) What I personally know is that when you go to boot camp, spend three months around well trained killing machines, you become a well trained killing machine. Slightly different, but you get the point.
I know a pastor that deliberately avoids people that are Debbie Downers. Although I personally do not agree with this, he says it's because he doesn't want the negative to rub off on him. I know that exposure to negativity is like a cancer, it can quickly spread.
How do you protect yourself from the world though? We live in a fallen world, full of ugliness, commercialism, t.v. shows that expose everything about human nature, divorce rates through the roof, I think you get the point. It seems that the bad has outweighed the good in our lives somewhere along the line. We take advise from people that have no business giving advise. We watch to see what everybody else is doing before we make a move on anything. No wonder we are referred to as sheep!!!
I think I may have rambled a little there. I will try to stay focused.
We have no choice but to live in a world that is fallen.
We will be exposed to things of the world, both good and bad.
What do we do then?
I see this very simply. If you are a Christian, as in follower of Christ, you have a built in filtration system. (For the longest time, I did not have any kind of filtering!) What I mean is, God says that we should daily read his Word. Not to memorize scripture, or be able to have that zinger when confronted about something, but for the simple fact that "you are what you eat".
I can only relate this fact as to how I see it. When I am presented with something that is worldly, my filtration system kicks in and protects me from the worldly outcome. No don't get me wrong, I do hit the override switch probably more than I should, but I eventually come back to filtering things through God. It's like your water that comes out of your tap. You could drink it and at first you would be okay. But over time those particles, or whatever is in tap water, can make you sick. So what do you do? You by a filter to protect you from the sickness. God is your filter for life. Plain and simple. I can go on forever with examples in my life where I didn't turn the switch on, but my fingers would fall off with all the typing.
This is what I know. I have made a mess of things more than once. I have run out of ways to fix things. I haven't seen hope on the other side of things. When I started going to God with things, things started to not be so bad. And even when they were, He was able to show me the other side, the CLEAN water, with no crud.
I don't know where most of you are in your life. I don't know what problems you face, or are facing. What I do know is my journey. Most of you reading this have known me at some part of that journey. Each one of you has played an important role in shaping who I have become and I thank you all for that. Above all, I thank God for putting you in my path. I thank Him for the lessons that I have learned, and hopefully along the way, one or two of you were blessed at the same time. I also thank God for the chance to be able to share what he has placed on my heart. (yes, Larry, I have one)
I hope that this may help someone. I was a big mess. Now, not so big. I pray the same for you.
When I turn around and look for my crud, it's always stuck on the cross.
Thank you, Jesus, for being my filter.