THE INPUTS AND OUTPUTS OF LIFE
Many of us have heard the phrase - Garbage in garbage out. This is a principle that describes the negative cause and effect relationship. Nature and nurture play the major roles in what kinds of inputs and outputs we exhibit. "We know biblically that it's true: Whether positively or negatively, what a person continually sees and listens to will directly affect him in his soul, in his spiritual life, and in his walk with God. And the company a person keeps will affect him spiritually and influence the way he views God and others." (Sparkling Gems From the Greek 2, Renner, p. 480)
Take for example the life of Lot. 2 Peter 2:8 speaks about Lot when he says, "...for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard...". This pictures Lot as an upstanding, honest man when he moved to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. While there he was "tormented" by all the evil sights and sounds that surrounded him. He always had the choice to leave, but he didn't - why? Because "day after day" Lot was desensitized and acclimated to that environment.
One part of society's environment that we need another great wake-up call is violence. Violence in our mindset, violence in our attitude, violence in our relationships, violence in every component of our media and violence in our atmosphere. The demonic spirit of violence is hard at work in our world today. "The fact is, this is the most violent generation that has ever lived. We may not fill a stadium to watch actual murders as the Romans did, but we are every bit as barbaric. In fact, this modern barbarism is even worse than the Romans. Think how desensitized the soul of society has become to think it normal to watch a movie filled with murder and bloodshed - or listen to music focused on violence - in the comfort of our own homes with our family and friends. Each one of us must ask ourselves, Is this normal?" (Renner, p. 480)
Mr. Renner did some further research and found that since 1940, worldwide, one Billion deaths have occurred from abortions. He said, "...it is more than the combined populations of the United States, Central America, South America, Canada, Australia, England, France, Italy and Greece. The greatest and most extensive killing in human history was not done by Nero, Domitian, Hitler or Stalin - it was done by medical doctors who have murdered more than one billion babies through the act of abortion in the past 100 years." (Renner, p.475)
The question is - Do you want a better__________? (life, community, state, nation, attitude, perspective, etc.) Some are desensitized until they get that proverbial slap-in-the-face or miraculous salvation like Lot. You who know better cannot wait around for these spur-to-action events. We, Christians, must draw-a-line-in-the-sand and be the ones helping others wake-up.
The key is to substitute the "garbage" in the phrase Garbage in garbage out with not just positive things but Godly matters. So, my encouragement is "brothers and sisters, 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) Pay attention to your surroundings and the company you share. As Proverbs 4:23 says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." - because all this begins by knowing The Inputs And Outputs Of Life.