Disclaimer: This post contains some images that are bit graphic but not the point of vileness. The content contains slightly more explicit material than I would normally put together. It is generally a PG13 kind of post. Now because of the world we live in, I state things just as it is. Some of it maybe offensive but that is to illustrate what the world thinks of and is doing to Christians. I do this in order to drive the point home effectively. Being euphemistic dilutes the impact that the content is supposed to give. How else can you be real in a world like this?
Now I am not saying that these are the actual reasons, but rather some possibilities as to why it is that out of all things in this world to clean, the mind is the most difficult.
I remember in my film shoot last year (during Nov-Dec 2013) our main character, who was a female lead together with our male lead because she played the wife, often wore short dresses and skirts. It was set in the ’70s through to the early 2000s. The thing that I found interesting about that was the fact that I knew that our actress was not the kind of person who normally wore such clothes. In fact I would go on further to say that if she never could, she never would!
I mentioned my observation to our supporting character who played the daughter in the story. This was on a day when she was not on set. When I said, “I like how she is putting on mostly dresses and skirts because I know she would not normally have them on. She looks great in them,” she replies, “Because their short!”
I knew that she was thinking what she thought I was thinking, but it was far from it. If anything she is the one who put the unnecessary thought in my head. I responded by saying, “The mind is the hardest thing to clean.”
Some observations based on possible conclusions people may come up with
I have not actually done a survey but this what I believe people would think.
1) Some blame it on sin– Gen 6:5
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually
True that we are generally born into sinful nature and therefore because of our fallen state we would naturally be drawn towards fleshly thoughts and desires. However, even without the forgiveness of sin, moral and ethical living can still be taught to an individual, most of which will be principles from the Bible except those pertaining to self-development and improvement. Through that, one can, as much as possible, control unclean thoughts and develop the habit of right thinking.
2) Some blame it on the corrupt world– 1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]
Now I do agree that most things, if not everything the world offers is instantaneously gratifying and self-fulfilling. Furthermore it is about taking control of one’s own destiny the idea that the most important thing above all is to do whatever you like. It is sad that most wars arise as a result of this unquenchable thirst and desire for more accompanied by a territorial mindset. In other words, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.”
To remedy this one’s mind must be filled with life lessons on being interdependent and good morals (lessons about good behaviour) and ethics (the good behaviour being practiced).
3) Some blame it on themselves– Jeremiah 17:9-10
The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?
I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings
This one is very closely linked to the first one. It is arguable that your background and “mentors” so-to-speak have a huge effect on your worldview and life in general. One may justify your actions by saying that you don’t know any better. However that does not make it excusable, you still have to face the consequences of your choice. Now there is one thing even in situations like that, I believe serve as saving aid for the individual: The Conscience. Deep down inside, because everyone gets taught good principles of earthly living at some point early on in their life, though they may be deceived by some people, feeling bad about certain actions taken at first is a starting point for a turn-around and acceptance for proper living. One needs not blame their status, background, sphere of influence (people around you that impact you and you impact), or anything else for the choices they make.
4) Some blame it on others- Matther 7:3-5
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye
Yes some would love the comfort of knowing that the choice they made was highly influenced by someone else and therefore the responsibility rests on someone else’s shoulders instead of their own. The teacher, the friends, girl/boyfriends, wives/husbands, boss, coworker, siblings and worst of all the parents. I have noticed especially from a lot of movies (meet the parents, meet the fockers, little fockers, definitely-maybe, cheaper by the dozen among others) and songs and/or music videos (Cleaning out my Closet-Eminem, Words are weapons D-12, If You Seek Amy-Britney Spears) that if not directly then indirectly or subliminally cause youth mostly to eventually rebel against their parents. Perhaps peer-pressure, wanting to fit in, dangerous board games or innocent card games with twisted rules that may have a truth or dare feel to it, heavily influence young minds. The emotive feel of music and movies is not be underestimated. I stress parents because of the greatest commandment relating to humankind:
Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12
5) Some blame it on circumstances- Not just the ones relating to background or the past but even the current ones and the future. How do you think pessimists become that way? Life does not treat everyone fairly and neither does everyone have the privilege of being taught how to overcome tough situations with a clear mind, focusing on the main goal and not the immediate obstacle. Being shaped by negative content and material plays a huge role in an individual’s life, as does being shaped by people.
6) Some blame it on work, politics and schools- those three make up the core aspects of any nation: business, government and education. It’s always the system’s fault! The truth is we cannot do anything about the things that happen to us, but we do have a say and choice on how it affects us. Now that is the key. Working with or for companies that do not have just dealings or being ruled by unfair politicians and national leaders, or being mistreated, cheated, or deceived by either the school or friends or anyone in any a learning environment, is in an unfortunate situation. Are such experiences (meant) to change your worldview? Are they to affect how you see and do life? Do they impact who you are and who you want to be?
These are things worth thinking about.
Let’s look at Mark 7:21-23
For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery,
Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness).
All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed.
The solution to it all
Now that we know or at least have any idea where the unclean mind comes from, the most important thing to do would be to:
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
When we do this it becomes easier when we are told:
Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect Romans 12:2
Something interesting to think about
I have observed that self-control is the most important thing that humankind has to deal with. The greatest thing given to all mankind was the freedom of choice. Second to that is the easiest and hardest way to live life: self-control.
I am convinced that if humankind has self-control in these three areas of life then they cannot be tempted at all.
1) Self-control with words. Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]
For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.
2) Self-control with food.
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags
1 Corinthians 6:13
Food [is intended] for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will finally end [the functions of] both and bring them to nothing. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but [is intended] for the Lord, and the Lord [is intended] for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again].
3) Self-control with sex. Now because the Bible deals specifically with one aspect of sex, we should look deeper into that and learn more about what it truly entails: Sexual Immorality.
What is sexual immorality?
The definition of immoral is deliberately
violating accepted principles of right and wrong.
The sexually immoral includes: prostitution,
pornography, having sex outside of marriage,
homosexuality, and adultery.
It seems as though sexual immorality comes in different ways. We will take a look at each of these:
Adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse.
You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14
If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10
Fornication: sexual intercourse between people not married to each other.
Pop culture: freedom to have sexual intercourse with anyone not married regardless of number, gender and age in order to gain and maintain a high social status.
Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4
According to the cited biblical verse, those who commit adultery defile through this their future marriage and the marriage bed, that is their sexual relation. No one will be able to rejoice of a defiled sexual relation, but it will transform his/her future wife or husband in an unguilty victim.
Masturbation: stimulate one’s genitals with one’s hand for sexual pleasure.
2) stimulate the genitals of (someone) to give them sexual pleasure.
Mutual masturbation: is a sexual act where two or more people stimulate themselves or one another sexually, usually with the hands.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11
Prostitution: the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.
“None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, and none of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the Lord your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 23:17-18
Pornography: printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.
There are two kinds of pornography:
Softcore pornography: generally contains nudity or partial nudity in sexually suggestive situations, but not explicit sexual activity, sexual penetration or “extreme” fetishism (sexual arousal a person receives from a physical object, or from a specific situation).
Hardcore pornography: Hardcore pornography contains graphic sexual activity and visible penetration.
I would like to think it counts as well when visible penetration is obvious even when the genitals are not in the frame.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body 1 Corinthians 6:18
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality. Galatians 5:19
This practice is an aberrant (departing from an accepted standard) sexual practice.
This world becomes more and more evil and it becomes harder to believe that things will get any better. The world makes the things of great disgust seem normal and even calls it, “untraditional sexual orientation,” but God calls it, “an abomination,” and “defiled.”
None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am the LORD. Leviticus 18:6
In continuation, the text defines clearly who are considered blood relatives, with which the marriage is banned. These are the parents, the step parents, the sister, the brother, the nephew, the niece, the aunt, the sister of the brother, the aunt from the uncle, the daughter-in-law, etc. All these sexual relations are incest. After that, the list continues with other things that are defined as perversions:
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. Leveticus 18:22–24
The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1:10
Immorality of the mind
What does immorality of the mind mean? Lord Jesus defines it in this way:
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28
Self-control in these three areas, even in a corrupt world like this one, will help humankind get closer to freedom from mind abuse. I leave you with this:
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” William Blake