Friday, January 29, 2010

#57 Grocery Store Approach

1 Thessalonians 5:21 "...examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

Grocery shopping is something that we all have to do. Some of us enjoy wandering through the aisles checking prices and looking for the best bargain. Some clip coupons and try to save every penny possible. Then there are those of us who are not there to shop, we are there to buy; buy only what we need and we want to get out of there as quickly as possible. I fall into that latter category.

When we buy our groceries many of us are very selective. We do not go into the store and buy one of everything. No, we choose only what we want or happen to need for that day, week, or month. If we tried to buy one of everything we would not only be financially ruined, but we would have a lot of stuff we really do not need.

Life is much like going to the grocery store in that we also do not need everything this life has to offer. There are all sorts of things competing for our attention but how many of them actually warrant our time and precious energy? I would dare say that far too many of us allow unnecessary things to rob of us valuable time that could and should be spent doing something else. Please understand I am not trying to be the "time police" with these comments. I am simply encouraging each of you to consider how you spend your time and resources.

According to a 2008 Nielsen Company survey the average American watches 151 hours of television a month. That works out to be about 1812 hours per year or 75.5 full days. If a person lived to be 73 having watched this average amount of television and they started watching T.V. when they were 10 years old then they will have spent about 13 years of their life in front of a talking box. 13 years is a lot of your life. How many of us wish we could have an extra 13 years to live life.

T.V. is not the only thing of course that vies for our time and attention but it is easy to pick on. My point is that just because something demands our attention in this life does not mean that we have to give it, and just because something feels good does mean that God would have us engage in it. In fact, I think we should be careful to only expose ourselves to those things that are going to bolster our relationship with God.

Not everything the world has to offer is good and not everything the world has to offer is suitable for God's people. The closer we get to Christ's return the more we should be concerned with what takes our time and fills our minds. Yes, we cannot go through life with our eyes closed just assuming everything will go away if we ignore it, but we need to filter everything through a solid, Bible-based, Christian worldview. That is the only way we can be certain that something put before us will make us better Christians and deepen our relationship with Christ.

The children's song "O Be Careful Little Eyes" contains a valuable life lesson. It says , "Be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down with love." Subsequent verses say that our little feet and ears should also be careful about where they go and what they hear because if we are not careful about what we see, what we hear, or where we go as Christians then we may very well be led away from our God. It would be such a tragedy to let someone or something rob us of our Jesus. It is my prayer that each of us will choose to only take that which is good and helpful for our spiritual walk. Being selective with our choices will have heavenly benefits.

Dear Lord,
Today we want to thank You for Your goodness and mercy. Please forgive us for the poor choices we may have made in the past, and teach us to do Your will by Your grace. We recognize that love leads to obedience and if we love You will our whole heart then You will empower us to live lives that glorify You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

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