Another way to say it is, “The proof is in the pudding.”
Maybe “What you see is what you get.”
Or “Pictures don’t lie.”
“What goes around comes around.”
“You reap what you sow.”
“You don’t tug on Superman’s cape…”
No, wait. That’s a different saying.
The point is what we put into something is what we get out of it. If we spend a lot of time on the couch, we’ll eventually get soft and sluggish. If we eat a quart of ice cream every night, we won’t be able to fit into our pants.
In a similar way, what we surround ourselves with is what we become.
It’s easy to think we’re the exception. “I can handle it.” “This isn’t affecting me.” “As soon as ____, I can/will ____.”
But the hard truth is if I’m reading or watching unhealthy material, it will reflect in my words and actions, be it ever-so-subtle. The same can be said of exposing myself to shallow influences. I will be changed by angry incoming messages. I am affected when I engage in unhealthy relationships.
Conversely, when I invest my heart and brain is wise counsel, solid truths, and hopeful messages, I begin to reflect wisdom, truth, and hope in the way I speak, relate, and react to circumstances.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you are somehow able to turn your brain off and on, or you can “just this once” take a break from doing what you know is right. Habits can be a slippery slope.
This is not a salvation issue. It’s simply a daily living reality. Anybody can make a mistake, and some situations are unavoidable. But often what we call “unavoidable”, is in reality, simply expedient.
So this may be a good time to take inventory on what literature we read, the content we view and hear, and the friendships we take in to our spirit. What does your calendar look like? What does your checkbook look like?
Or better still, what does your car radio look like?
That one was tough for me to type, because it could be surmised my music intake isn’t always the most wholesome. It doesn’t necessarily matter who surmises it. We are accountable to others so not be a potential stumbling block. But we are ultimately accountable to God, our families, our employers, and ourselves.
The point is, it all counts. Every moment — every dollar — every calorie. You name it. It’s either one step up the mountain, or one down the slippery slope. Nothing is static. There is no middle ground.
My old friend and former pastor Doug Anderson used to sum it up succinctly. So much can be encapsulated in one straightforward truth. Our lives can be enriched, our spirits can be quieted, and our testimonies can be strengthened by five simple words of wisdom.
“Read your Bible and pray.”
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