We get a lot of wind in our coastal town. More than once we’ve had to run down the street to retrieve our can and lid on windy mornings after garbage pickup. Hoodies help keep us out the rain, but won’t stay on when the wind blows. And umbrellas turn inside out. I’ve also learned if I don’t go out soon enough when I hear the sound of outdoor furniture scooting across the deck, I’ll have to fight the rosebushes to get them back. Even in beautiful summer weather, a breeze kicks up almost every afternoon.
That’s why it wasn’t much of a surprise to see the road crew met their match when they repainted lines down the middle of nearby streets. The wind must have been blowing when they sprayed, because I noticed every dotted line was surrounded by a fuzzy yellow mist.
Humorous to the observer. Annoying if you’re the crew worker trying to keep your paint from flying in all directions.
Disastrous when winds of confusion blow you off course spiritually.
Paul compared the ever-changing culture of this world to three things that continually fluctuate. Babies, who change their minds on a whim. Waves of the sea, that toss to and fro. Wind, that can blow even the largest vessel off course. You never know when the wind might change direction; the same is true with the values of our society.
What was once absolute is now fuzzy. You can’t quite make out the lines anymore between truth and what is culturally acceptable. Sex outside of marriage, the use of substances to “feel good” or medicate away your problems, lying to “protect” others, and stealing off the Internet (because everybody does it) are just a few practices people no longer consider outside the lines.
When we go where the winds our society take us, it makes it hard to stay on the road God has laid out, or even remember where it lies. What the world paints is unfocused, difficult to read; always changing. How can we know the truth for sure on any given topic?
God has given us everything we need to know to live a life pleasing to Him in His Word. We don’t get to pick and choose though. Unlike our world, God doesn’t change His mind. His 10 Commandments are still applicable for every person, or, as Jesus boiled them down to 2 commands—love God with everything you’ve got, and love other people as much as you love yourself. If we do that, it rules out any participation in idol worship, cursing, lying, stealing, cheating, coveting and all the others.
How do we guard against our tendency to go with the flow? It’s hard to do; pressure to conform, worldly ideals, and rationalization sneak in subtly. We hardly even realize we’ve gone off road, until we end in the ditch, or over a cliff.
I think the way to begin is to press the pause button and ask two questions when we’re watching TV (and commercials!), movies, the news, talking with others, listening to music, or reading.
1 1. How does this compare to the truth in God’s written word?
2 2. How does God want me to respond? Should I turn it off, do some research, ask forgiveness, speak up for truth?
If we want to make a difference in our culture for Christ, we have to stay vigilant, and not assume everything being “taught” us is true. “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14).
Where is the wind taking you? Where do you want to go?
#windsofteaching #trueorfalse #Eph4:14 #culturalnorms #politicallycorrect