Matt: From time to time it’s important for us to take an inventory of our lives and clean out the junk that we have in there. I’m not talking about the clutter in your closet, I’m talking about the junk in our minds. Recently I kept seeing Facebook posts from my high school small group guys talking about going to see the movie, “The Hangover 2″. I haven’s seen the movie, and I don’t intend to, but a couple of things came to my mind. Is it a funny movie? Probably. I didn’t see the first one but I know people raved about how funny it was. Second thought I had was, is there something better I could do with my time, or that my guys in my group could do with their time? Absolutely! This is the kind of “junk” I’m referring to when I say we need to clean out the junk.
If junk goes into our minds, junk comes out of our minds. I love M&M’s. They are probably my favorite candy junk food. But if all I ate were M&M’s I would end up very unhealthy. The same goes for the junk we put in our heads. If all I’m putting in there is junk, than I’m going to get spiritually sick and unhealthy. At our last small group meeting when I brought this subject up, I asked the guys what “junk” they had in their lives that they could do without. I made the point that sometimes we have to say no to the good stuff, so that we have time for the best stuff. Video games are fun, but what if you cut that time short by a half hour and used that half hour for some quiet time and Bible study? I challenged them this week to start with finding one piece of “junk” they are putting into their minds and get rid of that. I also challenged them to find 15-20 minutes this week where they could cut down on some of the video games, TV watching etc., and replace that with some daily Jesus times in their lives. It’s probably good advice that we all could do!
Steven: Last week a movie came out called The Hangover 2. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, or at least have heard of the original, and how inappropriate and vulgar it is. Since the sequel came out last week it has been a hot topic, even among my junior high students. The whole concept of the movie really got me thinking about how things we feed into our lives go on to show up in our lives at a later time. If you put junk into your life, you’re just going to get junk back out.
Last week I did a small group lesson about things we do that probably aren’t the best for us spiritually, but we somehow rationalize them and allow ourselves to believe that they don’t affect us. A few big things for my guys were movies, like The Hangover, cussing at school, and other things. For me, it was stand-up comedy. Pandora Radio just came out with comedy stations, and I had been listening to popular comics for the last two weeks. Obviously there’s a lot of inappropriate language and topics that definitely wouldn’t fall into the “WWJD” category, but in my mind I wasn’t talking that way so it was okay for me to listen. When we had this discussion in small group about it, I was convicted to stop listening to those Pandora comedy stations. I told my guys I would stop, and I haven’t listened to them since.
I think in today’s world we get very easily desensitized to things that don’t fall in line with Christian thinking. Because most of the secular world is involved in these things, they somehow creep into everyone’s lives somehow, even though we know they’re wrong. As Christians, and especially as youth leaders, we need to be on the lookout for these things. We need to model for our students that we aren’t participating in what the world deems “okay.” We need to be the people that steps out and choose not to accept ungodly things as part of everyday life.
Question: What are some things in your life that aren’t spiritually good for you, but you rationalize them anyway?