I recently watched a television drama set during the Second World War. There were some scenes that were shockingly violent, and I tried to avert my eyes during those parts. However, when I went to bed that night and shut my eyes to go to sleep, the images of that violence came back to me.
It made me reflect on the wisdom of David’s words in Psalm 101:3 – “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” Those “vile things” could be anything that the Lord hates, or anything impure that is not compatible with the holiness of God and His Spirit living in us. That would include violence, as it was on account of man’s violence that God caused the flood in Genesis 6.
It would also refer to any unclean sexual images - not just from pornographic sites or magazines, but also from sexual scenes that occur all too often within television dramas and films. It is important to turn those scenes off immediately, or preferably before they occur, so that the images do not imprint themselves in our minds and defile us.
Images of false gods, occult symbols or anything to do with witchcraft are also “vile things”. We should be wary of this not only for ourselves, but also for our children. Many so-called children’s programmes and books contain references to the occult and witchcraft. Our shops are now full of items (“vile things!”) in preparation for Hallowe’en, and many children will be dressing up, going to parties and seeing those images. No wonder so many children have troubled sleep and nightmares!
The Lord wants us to have our hearts and minds set on Him and on things above (Colossians 3:1-2), not on dark and ugly things. Paul writes to the Philippians: “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” (Philippians 4:8). Our focus should be on the unseen beauty and magnificence of God (2 Corinthians 4:18), and not on wicked, impure things that can turn us away from Him.
Let’s resolve, like David, not to set before our eyes any vile thing in the future.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for allowing any vile things to come before my eyes. Please cleanse me of those images and break any hold that the enemy has over my mind and imagination from them. Help me to focus on You and not to allow any wicked or impure images to come before my eyes again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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