Forsaking Toxicity

Tox•ic•i•ty: the state of being toxic.

Toxic is defined as “containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation”. I’ve been thinking about all the poisons we allow into our lives; the sinful desires we entertain and by which we are then debilitated. It’s like trying to lose weight while still eating food high in sugar or sodium—it is counter-productive. As children of God we are called to live by a higher standard than unbelievers. We are not cheap, we were purchased by a very high price and the value given us by Jesus Christ should be exemplified in every area of our lives.

We’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: the quality of media we allow in our lives is vital. If it’s a trashy magazine, throw it out. (I had this thick magazine last year that I’d bought for “fashion creativity purposes” but it sat nestled in my bookshelf giving my conscience a migraine. It wasn’t entirely trashy, but I wouldn’t say the contents were all God-glorifying either. One day I finally tore out all the revolting pages and snipped them into a million and two triangles, then burned the whole thing. It was an amazing feeling.)

In her book “Set-Apart Femininity”, Leslie Ludy discussed how easy it is to hear sessions on modesty and purity and then keep reading magazines like Seventeen. It is counter-productive. The colors are vibrant, but the messages that contradict Scripture’s standards of holiness…those are deadly.

Same for music. Could you hand your iPod or MP3 player to anyone and, in good conscience, let them listen to anything you have on there? Or, taking it one step further, while the songs might all be verbally clean, would the themes draw your friends nearer to Jesus or closer to the idol of self? I know I have songs on my iPod that are not all-too-great. First weed out the bad ones, then the not-so-great ones, until all you have remaining is an entire playlist that glorifies Jesus. That’s what I want.

Movies, TV, these are important, too. With few exceptions, I have been trying to avoid action films. Not that I mind the cool explosions or the hero narrowly escaping death while diving precariously from train to speeding train…but few of the female characters are ones I want to emulate! Modesty is hard enough in real life without seeing immodesty flaunted on screen. And, honestly, Jesus had a way more noble reason to be shirtless in His sufferings than these ripped actors who take any opportunity to be filmed half-dressed. 😉

Jesus’ life demonstrated His love for His Father. Mine should, too.

So…this isn’t supposed to be “just another rant” on movies and music. I love music, and movies aren’t all bad, but I really want us to be considerate of the quality we allow in our lives. REALIZE the value you have in Christ—and live accordingly.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” – 1 Cor. 6:19-20


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