Proverbs 1:10-19 v. 10-11″My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:”
Is it me, or is that a perfect Biblical illustration of a childhood bully? The bully rallies his gang of bandits to steal the feeble kid’s lunch money…well, that’s a dated example. I don’t figure seven-year-old bullies know how to cash lunch checks at the local bank. But it’s the “lurking for the innocent” that still applies. Regardless of how one categorizes the innocent- the poor, the overweight, the child wearing glasses or braces, the less than attractive, the teen whose skin is blemished, or the student that has his or her academic challenges-there are those bullies who “lay in wait” for an opportunity to poke fun or tease at the expense of someone else. Bullies. We all know or have encountered one at some point in life-climbing on top of everyone else to plant the proverbial flag of victory at the top of the hill.
Today, there are still those who beg for us to come and go with them to lurk for the innocent, yet we never speak with them, never brush shoulders with them, and honestly, they don’t even know we exist. Oh, brother. Here I go. Bear with me, if you will, as I step on my soapbox. I need to have a word with myself. It’s the dreaded box, the television. This next passage of scripture is so uncannily applicable today that I have to let you read it-notice the emphasis added is mine, but think of the television as you read through this:
1I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
2I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
3I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
5Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
6Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
7He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
8I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
Now, don’t tune me out here (ha!-another television reference). I DVR my favorites just like many of you. But as we have been studying James the past few weeks, James 1:8 gets me: “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Now, if I wouldn’t make company with those who promote open sin or those who mock our Savior, why in the world do I befriend those on the television who do so? I see my double minded ways so clearly, but I excuse myself too many times. Anybody else know where I’m coming from? Some of the things we watch on television openly bully our faith. They bully those who stand for Biblical truths. They mock those who do right and laugh with those who promote wrong.
Once again I must examine my own habits. I will also let others be the judge of themselves-it is not my place to set a bar or standard for someone else’s viewing habits, as this becomes a form of legalism. Just for today, I will consider my ways and try to make wise choices in the things I see, the jokes at which I choose to laugh, and the company I keep in my living room…in every sense of the word.