Posted by: bellissimanh | September 18, 2008

Welcome Home

Stain on the Brain 
by Fred Alberti, Crosswalk.com Senior Manager of Social Networking

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11

I watched Caleb as he sat there in deep concentration just staring at the book. Finally, I asked him what he was doing. His response was one I had never heard before. He said, “I’m staining it into my brain.”

He was memorizing Scripture verses for AWANA Club.

The thing is he knew what he was doing. He knew that he was trying to burn the words into his memory so he could pass on to the next challenge.

I like how today’s verse applies to Caleb’s staining power. The psalmist gives the reason why he is hiding God’s Word. What is it? So that he will not sin against God.

The reason for Bible memorization is to help us to abstain from sinning.

Oftentimes we resist Bible memorization. Instead we choose to stain our brain with TV shows depicting adultery, murder, and obscenity. Then we get ourselves into a moral bind and we wonder how we got into that place. We shouldn’t wonder. We should realize that what we choose to watch and/or memorize is what is going to stain into our brain.

“Oh, that sex scene isn’t so bad, at least they muted the sounds.”

“Why yes, the whole point of the show was that the husband didn’t get along with his wife and had an affair. But at least he was able to get a divorce and the mom was able to keep the kids.”

“Well, sure there was a lot of swearing but the story was great and the murder scenes were so realistic. Cinematography has really advanced these last few years.”

Folks, these are stains. They will stain your conscious and your heart and those of your family.

What are you staining your brain with these days?

Intersecting Faith & Life: Spend some time this week with your family memorizing key scriptures about salvation, like Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Acts 16:31, and 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

Further Reading

Why Memorize Scripture?
Teaching Memorization and Speaking Skills to Your Children
2 Timothy 3:16-17

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I’m reminded of Philippians 4:8… “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virture and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.”  How perfect God’s word is!

This week Noah said he was watching Tom & Jerry and Tom got drunk. I didn’t know all the details at the time, but decided on the spot that it probably wasn’t something he needed to be watching anymore. He tried to tell me it was only a little part of a great show… and used the old analogy of the brownies.

“If I gave you some brownies, and they had lots of yummy chocolate in them… but only a little bit of dog poop.. would you want to eat them?”

“No!”

“Just a little bit of something bad can completely ruin something good, can’t it?”

I kind of got that “Aaaaaw, Mom…” line and look.

I then shared with him this verse from Philippians. He needed no other explanation. He stated it simply. “No more Tom & Jerry.” Just from hearing the words, he knew that Tom & Jerry were not something that really fit with God’s instruction in the passage above. Sometimes he’ll question my judgment, but how I love that he never questions the Lord’s! If he reads it in the book, the matter is settled… period. 

In retrospect, we discovered that Tom got drunk because he fell in a tub of fermented cider. But Noah thinks that when Jerry saw that while under the influence, Tom let him do anything he wanted… he decided to find ways to get Tom to drink the cider. I don’t know if that’s considered a gray area or not. Maybe I’m being too harsh and overly critical. But when you come right down to it, are there other things Noah could be staining his brain with? Absolutely!

This discussion with Noah, along with the devotional above has caused me to examine my own life and habits, though… there is plenty there that could be replaced with more wholesome content. Am I as quick to let the Lord’s Word settle the matter for me as Noah is? Sometimes… but then there are other times that I practice avoidance and try not to think about what I let pass through my “filters.”

This goes beyond the programming I watch, or the things I read. Taken a step further, do I tend to focus on the positive in other areas? How about my relationships? Do I notice and encourage someone when I see them behaving in a manner consistent with Scripture, or do I tend to dwell on the criticisms of others that fill my mind?  Do I seek out the good in people and give them the benefit of the doubt, or am I waiting for them to disappoint me? What is my attitude toward the ministries I’m involved in? Do I grumble and consider them a burden, or do I rejoice over the blessing of being able to serve God by doing something that I love? How much time do I spend complaining instead of giving thanks? Do I worship as much as I whine? Thought provoking questions, eh? I think it’s time for some major remodeling if my heart is to truly be Christ’s home… but praise God He is faithful to give me an accurate picture of both where I am, and where He wants me to be. He has revealed to me, through His Word, what His “home” is to look like, and He has given me His Holy Spirit to empower me to do the redecorating… and yes, even knocking down a wall or two if need be. He is the Master Carpenter, after all. Who better to make the changes than the One who designed the blueprints? He is the author and perfector of my faith. 🙂

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Responses

  1. What is staining my brain? What a well put question we need to ask. Thanks for your honesty in your own reflection. There are so many times I practice avoidance – not really examining what is staining my brain.

    Loved the devotional – thanks for sharing.

  2. I forgot how many times I’m convicted when I visit your blog – and how many great things you leave me to think about. My brain is stained with some pretty nasty stuff from over the years – I would love if if my kids could say something different. In other words, I’ve eaten a lot of dog poop. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your heart, as always!

  3. “at least they muted the sounds…”
    That made me laugh –
    oh, my, the excuses we can come up with. 🙂

  4. very, very good post. Thank you for sharing.

    “I don’t know if that’s considered a gray area or not. Maybe I’m being too harsh and overly critical. But when you come right down to it, are there other things Noah could be staining his brain with? Absolutely! ”

    That above was my favorite. When it all comes down to it, our lives have GOT to line up with scripture. There will always be gray area, but we shouldnt live completely in the gray area. Most times there is a clear yes, or no when you are praying about something. The holy spirit will let us know.. It is possible to walk in the spirit. Grant it, Lord!

    love, S

  5. ps. i love that song.

  6. What a great post! I love the comfort and strength I get from remembering scripture!


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