Life Hack #19: Be Not Pulled
Life Hack #19:
It is part of our make-up to be drawn to that which pleases our senses, isn't it? As little babies, we were fascinated with all things sparkly and bright colored. The slightest hint of gleam and we'd direct our attention toward the object. Smell the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread and your mouth begins to water for the enjoyment of savoring a warm slice lathered in rich butter. Hear the tender notes of some melody and your toes will start tapping with the beat. Our bodies respond to stimulus from without, but that response begins on the INSIDE of us in response to the thing we are "taking in" through one of our senses. Learning "temperance" is a difficult thing in this life, but if we don't exercise a little self-control over our "sensual intake", we will find ourselves in places we'd probably not like to be! Today's life hack is not about alcohol, but rather the 'appeal' of things to our senses and how we should 'govern' what we allow to spur that 'interest' within.
Who are the people who are always crying the blues? Who do you know who reeks of self-pity? Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all? Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot? It’s those who spend the night with a bottle, for whom drinking is serious business. Don’t judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor. Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—the splitting headache, the queasy stomach. Do you really prefer seeing double, with your speech all slurred, reeling and seasick, drunk as a sailor? “They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt; they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing. When I’m sober enough to manage it, bring me another drink!” (Proverbs 23:29-35)
We first need to be aware of what appeals to the eye. The "eye-gate" is the primary "entry point" which we need to monitor because sight is a tremendous gift. Intake through sight becomes the place where imagination begins to take over. We "see" and then we begin to imagine what we see as our own, how it will affect us if we could just take hold of what it is we see. In the Garden of Eden, why was the serpent so successful when he posed his questions to Eve? Maybe it was because she had already been gazing at the fruit anyway - sight had already paved the way for desire! It tickled her senses - because she "saw" and seeing created desire. Desire is not a bad thing, when tempered with self-control and the wisdom given by the Holy Spirit. Desire gets out of hand when everything we see becomes something we have to get or partake in.
We need to be cautious about what we hear, as well. People will always attempt to tell us things which simply are not true. We cannot believe everything we hear - we must become "testers" of what we hear. Each believer must really get to know the Word of God for themselves. In so doing, you are ensuring you have the foundation to "test" what you hear against what you have studied, recognizing when it just doesn't seem to be quite right, and then seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit's guidance to determine if this is just a new truth you haven't really grasped yet, or if it is truly something you need to reject.
We must be cognizant of our values. We don't judge a book by its cover. When we have a set of core values which align with the Word of God and principles taught in scripture, we stand a better chance of "interpreting" input wisely. We see individuals for their inherent worth in Christ Jesus, not what they contribute to society, or how influential they are in today's social circles. We hear the sweetness, as well as the longings of the heart of those who share their lives with us. We learn to use gentleness in urging someone to move forward who has been stuck in a rut for a long time. The values we learn at the feet of Jesus help us to put life in perspective, so we aren't drawn to the things which bring hurt or harm into either the lives of those we are in community with or our own.
We must learn about how our senses "drive" and "pull" us toward certain behaviors and life views. There is much in this life that can repel us, but probably much more that can draw us in if we are not exercising a little self-control. The "shiny" doesn't always sparkle once we take hold of it! The "luscious" doesn't always flatter once it is consumed! Just sayin!