One of the most powerful convictions I received this weekend was the things that we, as Christians, allow to contaminate our lives and the lives of our innocent children. 

How often do we say “That movie is really good (EXCEPT for that one little part)!”  or “That show is a must see (EXCEPT for that one costume)!”  or “That school is wonderful (EXCEPT for that one issue)!”  You get the idea. 

We seem to have failed to realize that if sin APPEARED bad and undesirable, no one would want any part of it–even non-Christians, in many cases.  However, it doesn’t work like that.  Satan uses the GOOD parts of things to suck us in, and throws in just enough of the sinful stuff to contaminate our minds and spirits. 

This past weekend, Steve Maxwell gave us a wonderful picture of this idea.  He took a brand new bottle of spring water and pointed out how pure, healthy, and good for us it was.  Then, he took another little bottle of brown “sewage.”  He opened the water, put just one tiny drop of sewage into the water bottle, screwed the cap back on, and shook it up.  Then he asked someone to drink it.  He pointed out that the water still looked perfectly clear, clean, and safe to drink.  But was it?  Certainly no one volunteered to try it!  Even that one little drop contaminated the entire bottle with millions of tiny, invisible bacteria and toxins that could cause severe, if not deadly, results.

WOW!  I never thought about it like that!  S and were really convicted about several things in our life that we were allowing to be that “one little drop” in otherwise good influences–be it a single bad word in a wonderful family movie, or an ill-behaved friend of our children, or a downtown activity that was worth doing “EXCEPT” for that one little thing!  We talked a great deal about steps we could take to eliminate those toxins from our lives.  Instead of being measured by the “EXCEPTS,” all things should be measured by God’s pure and holy standards such as is found in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

While we are going to work on improving several areas, one of the first areas is television.  We limit our children to the most wholesome movies we can find–and very few at that.  One of the favorites is Little House on the Prairie.  Unfortunately, M walked in the other day, picked up her water bottle, and said “I’m drinking alcohol!”  We realized after talking to her that she had picked the idea up from LHOP movies (Mr. Edwards is a functioning alcoholic).  Of all the wonderful lessons (a few of which she retained), she was contaminated with one of the few negative aspects of the show.  Our 3 year old has no reason to know anything about alcohol at this stage of her life, yet we allowed her to be influenced by it!  For us, this was a sad, humbling, realization.  Even worse, is that we can never turn back time.  What we can do, though, is make the needed changes now in hopes that we can reduce future contamination.  As a result of this decision, we are unsubscribing from Netflix (where we get our LHOP videos), getting rid of the few videos we still have, and getting rid of the TV, and DVD/VHS player.  It doesn’t get that much use anyway, and I will free up some space! 

I will keep you posted as we discover other areas to clean up, but I challenge you to consider these ideas carefully, and think about what little drops of sewage are contaminating your lives.

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