Heart Cleansing

October 6, 2013

Heart Cleansing

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians 7:1).

Concern is justified for contamination of the atmosphere.  I have stood on Lookout Mountain and seen the smog over the city of Denver.  There is justified concern for the spread of disease.  That’s why people are offered antiseptic at the entrance of hospitals and care centers.  There is no justification for contaminating our streams and rivers.  But, why is there so little concern for that which contaminates the morals of men?

Every week we hear of terrible crimes that are committed by men of corrupt minds.  Innocent girls are beguiled and sold into the slavery of prostitution.  Hard working people lose all their assets by means of identity theft.  Teens and adults commit mass murder.  Half of our marriages end in divorce.  Don’t you agree that something needs to done to correct the faulty thinking of people that perpetuates these problems?

There are those who are concerned, but efforts to correct the problem are often inadequate or inappropriate.  Some parents think their children won’t be inclined to steal if they give them everything they want.  Some think violent crime can be stopped by taking guns away from everyone.  Psychologists use a humanistic approach to reason with people.  It is far inferior to a biblical approach.

Doctors know that it’s inadequate to just treat the symptoms when people are suffering from a disease.  They know that the disease needs to be identified and attacked.  We do well to do the same with the problem of corruption in the minds of men.  Bad behavior stems from wrong thinking.  People think wrong when they expose their minds to bad influences.  The following are some of the influences we need to evaluate.

The television has a tremendous potential for good, but at the same time, it has the same potential for evil.  Unfortunately, much of what comes out of the tube is corrupt.  It’s not all bad, but even if viewers only watch the news and a few recommended programs, every now and then something bad still slips out.    When we hear that repeatedly we tend to accept it.  It’s not just what we hear on television that affects us.  It is also what we see.  The same can be said for movies that are bought or rented.

Computer games are having a powerful negative impact on the minds of our teens.  Many teenagers become addicted to them and spend hours   being entertained by them.  The impetus of many electronic games is destructive behavior.  Some, for example, are road games.  The winner is the one who forces the most drivers off the road without being hit.  Some are gun games.  The winner is the one who avoids being shot while he shoots everyone in sight.  Young people who take guns into schools and kill innocent children are living out in real life what they have spent hours doing on computer games.

Some teenagers spend hours every day with their ears plugged into rock music.  Often the theme of rock music is filthy: illicit sex, drugs, drunkenness, and profanity.  There is, in rock music, what is called “back masking.” That means that suggestive illicit thoughts are played backwards.  The subconscious mind is capable of picking up those thoughts.

The minds of many have been corrupted by pornography.  It is readily accessible in the age of computers and Internet.  Many do it undercover, but eventually the truth comes out.  Countless marriages have been destroyed because of pornography.  When that happens, children also suffer. Sex is a precious gift that God has given for married couples to enjoy, but when it is perverted it is degraded to a fleshly passion.

These are just a few of the sources of the corruption that is crippling our society.  There are a lot more holes that need to be plugged.  We need to consider what the Bible says about the problem.  Matthew 15:19-20 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:   These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Jesus makes it clear that the corruption of our society is a heart problem.   That means we need to have our hearts cleansed.  The prayer of David, in Psalm 51:10 was.  “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  We need to attack the problem in the heart.  As long as these things are in the heart, they will keep coming out.

The only way to get your heart under control is by becoming a child of God.  You do that by going to God in prayer, asking him to forgive you of your sins and make you a child of his.  God can do that by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.  With his help, he can and will make a total transformation of your heart.  II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Psalm 119:9-11 gives us some important information about how a child of God can cleanse his heart.  “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” He says it is by taking heed.  First of all, it’s by taking heed to God’s Word.  Consistently reading and heeding God’s Word cleanses us.  Thereby we learn what is and isn’t pleasing to God.  If something isn’t pleasing to God, it shouldn’t be pleasing to us.

All of us need to be involved in this cleansing process.  We should be occupied in cleansing our own hearts and keeping them clean.  That means we put the sources of uncleanness in their proper place.  The television has its place, but we should know when to shut it off.  The computer is a tremendous tool.  Don’t let it corrupt your mind.  You also need to be selective in your choice of music.

Don’t think that you don’t need heart cleansing.  All of us have fallacies in our thinking and attitudes.  Many times people don’t realize that until they find themselves in a moment of panic or stress.  They do things they regret the rest of their lives.  David prayed “cleanse thou me from secret faults” (Psalm 19:12).

Parents need to teach their children to choose the good and shun evil.  Motivate them to have compassion for others and be diligent in their study habits.  Don’t buy for them, or let them buy, music or computer games that will corrupt their minds.  Encourage them to have an interest in things that are clean and wholesome.  Above all, set a good example before them. Keep in mind the warning of Proverbs 22:15.  “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Teachers, you have a lot of influence over your students.  Don’t hesitate to teach them moral values.  It’s not enough to just warn them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.  They need to have a vision of living a useful and successful life.  Motivate them to study and learn.

We can all make a contribution to making this a better world by joining in the fight to cleanse our minds, and the minds of those around us, of antisocial, destructive thinking and behavior.  It has to start with you.  Why don’t you start today?

Our e-mail address is: rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net








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