In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes. -Judges 17:6 (NASB)
Before Jesus opened my eyes, I figured I could consume anything I wanted to, and it would have no effect on who I was.
I watched a show called “Breaking Bad,” which was powerfully and convincingly acted, but repeatedly showed the depths of deceit and evil people could reach to survive. People were tortured, killed, blackmailed…you name it.
A series of video games I’d played for years, Grand Theft Auto, puts the player in the starring role as a street criminal rising up the ranks to become the city’s crime lord. To get there, you’d have to pull off countless thefts, murders, and many other crimes.
What I thought was: well, these are just fantasy, and they aren’t really me. In fact, what I was participating in was the normalization of depravity, consuming and taking part in soul-scarring sin. Years later, I could see it even more clearly when deciding what I’d want my little son to watch and learn.
No, it wasn’t enough to dismiss depravity as okay because it’s not happening with our own hands…but our eyes and minds are drinking in soul-stirring negativity that changes us…distances us from where we should be walking.
Today, I look for what I would be okay with my child consuming. I think twice before what I say and do, and not just telling him not to do as I do…because God gave me a job to model the Christian walk for him.
In the verse above, the Israelites had wandered far, far away from God. They sometimes paid lip service to Him in temple, but then freely violated His commandments in daily life–especially in idol worship.
Our idols are those things that take our souls off His designated path. In a world where anything goes, His Word tells us that there actually is a righteous path, and we can choose to walk it with Him…or walk apart from Him like the rest of the world.