My little granddaughter is not yet 2 years old and she hasn't outgrown the "put everything I find in my mouth" stage. Today I pulled a gummy bear out of her mouth that looked like it had been stuck to the bottom of someone's shoe for at least a year. Nothing is too dirty or nasty for her to taste. Because of this "I WILL put everything I find in my mouth" stage, we can't let her out of our sight. We have to be vigilant or she might put something in her mouth that is poisonous or something that could choke her.
We try very hard to make sure that our children and grandchildren don't consume things that will hurt them, but what about ourselves? Are we as vigilant about what we consume with our minds and take into our hearts?
David let the images of Bathsheba bathing lead him to sampling the forbidden fruit he longed to have. When confronted with the depth of all that his sin had caused, King David begged the LORD:
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
Unless you live on a deserted island with no way of communicating with the outside world, you have heard about a movie that was recently released called Fifty Shades of Grey. I have not read the book or seen the movie. I have no desire to see it. However, I have heard it discussed enough to know that it is more than a little risqué.
Recently, I saw an online discussion about this movie on Facebook® and realized that some of the comments were written by some people I know. When I read what they had to say, my mouth fell open. They loved the movie and thought it had a wonderful plot. I could be wrong, but I don't think most people who saw that movie came out thinking about the plot.
I am not saying that everyone who went to this movie (or any other similarly themed movie) is a bad person. I am saying that if we want a pure heart we can't be like my granddaughter and consume everything that looks like it might taste good.
Why should we want a pure heart?
Let's think for a moment of our brains as sponges. Would we rather drop our sponge in a bucket full of dirty mop water (grey water or worse), or drop it in a pail of clean fresh water? If we repeatedly fill our brains with images and thoughts that aren't pure, sooner or later we are going to be left with a sponge filled with dirty mop water.
How can we have a pure heart?
We need to surround ourselves with things that are pure. To do that, we must use God's word as our guide to define purity:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
As Christians, we need to be asking ourselves, "Is this pure?"
This is a question we would do well to ask every single day about what we plan to see, think, and hear. In his letter to Timothy, Paul told him that love "comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Timothy 1:5). Something precious in our love gets polluted when we fill our sponge with grey water and worse. We must never underestimate the importance of a pure heart. If we desire a pure heart, then we must guard our hearts against evil. Why? Because our hearts color every aspect of our lives.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).