Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Importance of Feeding our Imagination with the Right Stuff

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matt 5:27–30 (ESV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Phil 4:8–9 (ESV)

I was reading D.A. Carson's commentary on Matthew alongside my bible reading and this sentence stuck out to me concerning my own battle with sin.  All sin, not least sexual sin, begins with the imagination. Therefore what feeds the imagination is of maximum importance in the pursuit of kingdom righteousness. I was not thinking of sexual sin so much as distractions that are not useful to my own spiritual growth and development.  In the same way that unhealthy eating habits negatively impact my physical health, so to unhealthy life habits negatively impact my spiritual health.  Unhealthy life habits can be anything from the time I waste on social media or entertainment to letting my mind wander down paths that undermind my own spiritual desires and appetites.  Not only do I need to take every thought captive to the Lordship Christ, but I also need to take every activity and habit captive to the Lordship of Christ.

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