Let's blast back to the past for a moment to the year 1993.
"I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) by Meatloaf was the # 1 hit song that year. (What was that one thing he wouldn't do?) It was also a bang-out year for movies with Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Sleepless in Seattle, The Firm and The Fugitive listed as some box office favorites. It was just another year.
However, for me, it was a year that would impact my life forever. The impact was like that of a car crash, not a good one. It was undoubtedly the worst year of my life.
This is a story of something that happened at the end of that year, during the darkest season of my life.
In 1993, I was in my sophomore year of college. My family took a trip to the Grand Canyon over Christmas break. We went with my Uncle and Aunt and their son, Tim.
Tim is my cousin. He went to Bible school and at the time of this trip was a missionary, working with youth in the inner city of Chicago.
So, just to recap.....Tim: Bible student, missionary with youth. Me: heathen, away from God.
Tim, Paul (my brother), and I were in the hotel room. A popular movie at the time came on the television. We were excited to watch the movie. Even Tim was excited because the movie was supposedly about basketball and he liked sports. A little into the movie, a compromising scene came on and Tim got up and turned it off.
Amazed, bewildered, and irritated, I questioned, "What are you doing? This is a good movie! What is the big deal?!"
Then, Tim said something that has stuck with me until this day......
How many blueberries does it take to stain a white Easter dress?
I rolled my eyes and said, "Whatever." But, it stuck with me. Truth sticks.
He was right, and somewhere deep inside of me I knew he was right. My life was just a messed up mess and I didn't care about myself enough to care if I got a blueberry on my dress. After all, when your dress is already as stained as mine was, what difference does another blueberry make.
Tim turned off the T.V. because he valued himself as a child of God and knew what was on the screen was unworthy of his eyes.
He knew that one compromise was like a blueberry stain on a white Easter dress. We are children of the Most High God, called to live holy, separated lives. Purity doesn't just happen. Purity and Holiness has to be our pursuit.
He also knew that one compromise can lead to another compromise until one is entangled in sin.
What we let into our eyes and ears is what comes out in our lives.
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.
Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:23-27
The word straight in Greek is the word yashar. Yashar means "be pleasing, be agreeable, be upright.".
So, when the above verse says "look straight ahead" it isn't refering to a forward direction. It is literally meaning to only look at what is pleasing and right.
There are so many opportunities for compromise in this day and age where we live. Anywhere from the ever-assessable internet, to television, to billboards or just walking at the mall. Even the cartoons kids watch on television have impurities woven into them. We have to be mindful to watch what we are allowing our kids to watch or listen to on the radio. It is our duty to protect our minds and theirs.
If you have been compromising, or not guarding your heart, this is not for condemnation. The Lord never speaks to our hearts to condemn us, but to help us change.
We need purity. We need pure hearts. Without a pure heart, our prayers will be hindered and our relationship with the Lord will be dismal.
Jesus Christ loves us so much that He died so we could be pure.
Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify, and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:24-27
He loved us enough to die for us to make us pure, holy, and without blemish. Do we love ourselves enough just to guard what He already died to give us?
I don't know where you are today. You may guard your heart beautifully and treasure keeping it pure. Or you may be like I was thinking this is crazy. Seriously, what is the big deal? Perhaps you may be thinking my dress already has too many stains. His mercies are new every morning. His conviction is never to condemn.
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson (or blue like a blueberry) , they shall be as wool.
Is 1:18 (italics added)
The good news is that Jesus is the ultimate Clorox Pen. Not only does He get the stain out, He removes it so that it was like it was never there. He gives us a new dress! White. Clean. Beautiful.
You are worthy of God's best. Remember Whose you are, you are a child of the Most High.
Let us not allow our eyes and ears to be tainted by that which is not worthy of us. We need to value ourselves and love ourselves enough to protect that which God says is Holy.