My spirit and flesh are in a battle against each other this week.
It's over a movie I really want to/don't want to see.
You know how as a parent you say "no" to some things because you love your kids so much and want to protect them, but they get ticked at you for wanting to protect them because they think you're making them miss out on the fun, so they stomp their feet a little?
Well, I'm stomping my feet a little bit. I really want to see the new movie "Bridesmaids." But then again, I really don't. Not with the conviction in my spirit over it.
I've said it before--I LOVE humor. I grew up in a home with a lot of laughter--clean laughter! I think in some respects, I have made humor an idol. I actually crave opportunities to laugh out loud--and I let my standards slide sometimes when humor comes into play. It's always a battle when a movie comes out that people tout as "the funniest movie I've ever seen," because almost inevitably those hilarious movies are laced with inappropriate content. Each hysterical moment seems to be surrounded by stuff I just plain have no business watching.
If any man would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
I wish I was like the people who can watch a movie, walk away, and not remember every little detail of what they just saw. They seem almost unaffected by it. I say "almost" because I think stuff gets imbedded in our hearts and minds far more than we realize--or perhaps are willing to admit. But for me, I have an almost photographic type of memory. I always aced every spelling test because I could see the words in my mind--in the font they were in on the study sheet. I can see in my mind the phone message my dad wrote for me, and the phone number on it--from a decade ago. God made one very visual person in His creation of me, and it has been a blessing in many ways. But it also means that when I choose to watch garbage, it replays in my mind like a movies on a screen, over and over. For weeks. And that is not at all what He wants for me.
Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable...if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.
So no wonder the Holy Spirit, the God who loves me, keeps whispering, "Don't."
I feel a bit left out. I know of a lot of women who are going to see this together, or have seen this together. I want to be in on the fun. I want to laugh with them.
But I want to be obedient even more. I find it really tempting to determine what's right and what's wrong based on what I see other believers doing. If more than half of my Christian friends are okay with it, then it must be okay. Or I do the "comparitively speaking" thing--I'll watch TV shows I have no business watching, simply because "There is so much out there that is far worse than this." My standard has inched further and further away from where the Word of God says it should be. And pulling it back to where it should be sure feels like a bummer. But I KNOW that "the fruit of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."
You may be reading this, disappointed in me for even having the slightest pull to go see this movie. Or maybe you think I'm being too extreme in concluding that I have no business seeing it. Fair enough. I'm just sharing my struggle--Let the Holy Spirit lead you. But when I consider what was laid down on my behalf, I have a hard time justifying spending my God-provided money on things that are so clearly an affront to His holiness. I hate that I've stomped my feet over this one, but it's just evidence that the LORD still has a lot of work to do in my heart.
But I love Him. And I really, really want to listen to what He's been saying--and obey.
So I just cannot see that movie.