Since the beginning of time, God has blessed man with a great privilege – the privilege of choice. Unfortunately, we do not always use this great blessing to be right in God’s eyes. We allow – by our own choice – various things to influence how we think, talk and behave toward evil.
In a discussion with His disciples, Jesus told them to take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees (Matt. 16:6). Luke’s inspired narrative states that this leaven was that of hypocrisy (Lk. 12:1) The Pharisees taught one thing, that of allegiance and holiness before God, and yet did not trust nor follow him with their hearts and minds. For this reason, the disciples of Christ were warned to not follow the influence of the Pharisees. The teachings of the Pharisee made a person more shallow in their relationship to God. This was their influence!
How often have you thought or even said, “Well, that activity I do has this or that which is not really good. But I can handle it. It does not really bother me as a Christian.” We hear this about movies, music, people we may associate with, books and magazines we may read, etc. If a movie has some language and/or violence, are we going to permit that leaven (influence) into our lives to hinder our growth toward God? What kind of leaven are we allowing – by choice – into our minds to influence our walk everyday? Are we losing our saltiness because of the bad influence?
When we say to ourselves and to others, “Well, it had some bad language and some violent scenes, but other than that, it was a good movie.” At this point, who has won the battle? Righteousness has not! If we are going to allow the devil to influence us to call something filled with ungodly language and the deaths of people just for our amusement good, we have come a long way in the wrong direction. Jesus told His disciples to watch and beware of the leaven or the influence of the Pharisees. Today, He warns us of the evil of an increasingly humanistic world in which less and less righteousness dwells. Two thousand years ago, the Bible writers warned us of the devil. John wrote that the devil was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the Truth because there is no Truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (Jn. 8:44). Be careful of what influences you. By Andy Burns