Whatever is Pure

Sometimes I like to read trashy, mindless novels. Not the kind that evoke romantic emotion or suspense, but just the ones that tell a story, usually about an independent and recently divorced woman who is in the midst of making her life what she wants it to be. Those are the good ones.

I like to watch a few T.V. shows, albeit online. We try to pick decently wholesome and entertaining shows, though there’s probably a question of how wholesome they are on a regular basis.

I don’t like a lot of Christian music. I just think most of what you hear on the radio is really lame and predictable, and stylistically I just can’t dig it. Plus God isn’t lame or predictable. So I listen to what I want.

Sometimes I get bored with regular conversation and gossip is the only way out of it.

And then there’s this:

Finally, brothers, 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.

I don’t really have to dwell on these things in order for them to affect who I am becoming. They don’t even, in themselves, have to be bad things. But little by little, they creep into my heart and I suddenly realize that it’s much easier for me to curse more often. Homosexuality has become hilarious. Kissing someone other than your spouse isn’t really cheating. Gossip is just telling the facts. Jealousy is fine as long as you’re not too violent, and everyone is bitter. It’s just part of life.

My thoughts reflect what I’m reading. My words reflect what I watch and what I hear. And it all comes out in my interactions with other people, with my husband, with my family, with complete strangers. I feel like I can fake it pretty well- I can pull off the sweet demeanor long enough to make you my friend. But if you stick around for long enough, if you really get me going on one topic or another, you’ll see my true heart. And my heart is usually a mixture of what I’m taking in at the moment. Good or bad.

How do you balance being in the world without being of the world? What’s okay and what’s off limits? How do you decide?

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