Hygiene is in the eye of the beholder, I've decided. One lunch time I watched the woman in the sandwich shop spreading mayonnaise on my bread, and noticed part of her grubby work shirt was dragging across it. "Excuse me," I ventured, "your sleeve is in the mayo."
"No problem," she reassured me. "I need to wash it anyway." (Via Belief Net, submitted by Natalie Walker)
"Yuck!" we might think, "that's terrible." Or respond this way: "I would tell her to make me a new sandwich, I'd sure never eat that one!"
So, just how much dirt makes something dirty?
How much must something be contaminated before you reject it?
We know that our government allows for a certain amount of impurities to be found in most of the foods sold at the market, yet we still purchase them. We have learned to overlook those things by thinking, "They aren’t enough to hurt us or the government would have prevented them from being sold."
Well, how much is too much?
Of course we can make this application to areas of our life other than just food, can't we? Our televisions and movies are allowed to show certain things that would have been rejected in the past, yet they are considered acceptable to those in authority. Language we reject in our daily life comes into our homes and our minds through what is presented as "entertainment."
Did you know you can decide what you allow into your life? Our modern technology has made it possible to know the type of things which are contained in almost any form of "entertainment" in advance. There are a large number of television programs and movies which come and go and my wife and I never watch them. Why? Because we have decided we don't want filth being dragged through our minds. Each of us even has the ability to turn channels or shut the thing off, but will we? Will you?
A couple of years ago, someone recommended a movie to my wife and me. We did not check it out, but just went to see the movie. We stayed for the first five minutes and got up and walked out. Yes, we had paid for the ticket, but we refuse to allow ourselves to be subjected to filth if we have a choice.
Lots and lots of things are being presented in our world right now as being "OK" or "acceptable" when they really are not acceptable. People are making and presenting to others "life and lifestyle choices" which are ungodly.
So how much filth does it take to make something filthy?
How much filth is acceptable in your life?
They know God, but they do not give him the honor that belongs to him, nor do they thank him. Instead, their thoughts have become complete nonsense, and their empty minds are filled with darkness. They say they are wise, but they are fools; instead of worshiping the immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortals or birds or animals or reptiles. And so God has given those people over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other (Romans 1:21-23 GNB).
So, what is the solution? Jesus brother, James, tells us, "So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you" (James 1:21 GNB).
How do you want your sandwich ... or your life? Is having a filthy sleeve drug through it acceptable or not? Is having just a little filth drug through your TV room or reading acceptable or not?
You see, ultimately, it doesn't matter what anyone says is acceptable, except God. Paul gives what is perhaps the best instruction on this matter, as he focuses on the positive and not the filth:
For the rest, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things have honor, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, center your thoughts on these things (Philippians 4:8).