We live in a rent house. When we first 'toured' this house, we were selling our home in NC, which was a tiny little piece of heaven. We had made it just as we wanted it and it seemed perfect (to us atleast). So when we stepped foot into the rent house, it wasn't, well, exactly how we wanted it to look. Although it was well maintained, the beauty of our home in NC was still in our minds eye and the rent house in TX stood out like a sore thumb. It took a long time to get used to the differences.
Three years later, I barely notice the differences. Those characteristics of the house that stood out the first week we moved in, have faded. I see them every day, walk past them, clean them, use them. They are apart of my normal daily routine.
Isn't this just like sin? Wow the first time we are exposed to sin, it stands out. Of course sin being so vile, evil and repulsive, we are usually taken back. Oh but how temptation numbs us. We give it a look, a thought, a taste, a try. Then another and another. Pretty soon we can't tell the difference anymore. It becomes a part of our daily routine. It is our norm.
I find this to be true in many areas of my life. Recently we had dinner with some friends. Our dinner conversation turned to a topic that the hostess didn't feel comfortable letting her children listen too. Me being completely unaware of her conviction, rambled on and on about the subject while she discreetly tried to shoo her kids into the other room. My kids were playing in ear shot, but I didn't think anything of it. Later she shared her conviction with me. And I was convicted too. I thought, how have I come this far to be ok with talking about this subject around my children? I had become numb.
I love these verses....
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
2 Corinthians 10:5-6 tells us how to renew our minds. "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..."
Applying these verses is absolutely key in the task of keeping our minds pure and on Christ. The pattern of this world.... it's pretty obvious what the pattern of this world is. And we are to recognize it and intentionally go against it. Then we are to renew our minds (to make new again). And this has to be done continually. Why? Because we live in the world and we are constantly exposed to its ways. And when we renew our minds, we can continually have a pure hearted/minded perspective on things to be able to test and approve what it is God wants for us. And we stay grossed out by the effects of sin and the lure of temptation. We are sober, aware, alert. Not numb.
Which leads me to 1 Peter 1:13 "Therefore with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming." Colossians 3:2 says "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
Last, I want to leave you with Philippians 4:8-9. This is a great verse to camp out on when we are purposing to renew our minds.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:14-15