Spiritually Speaking: Under the Influence

You are what you consume–as a nutritionist’s daughter I’ve heard this saying on numerous occasions, but I believe it applies in the spiritual sense as well.

For this post, though, how about we alter the phrase to “you are what you give your time to.”

Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ parable of the sower in Matthew 13, about a farmer going out to scatter good seed for harvest, when right behind Him a rascal follows, throwing weed seed in the same field.

Let’s transpose this to modern terms.

I’m not much of a gardener, but I’ve pulled my share of weeds. If a nasty dandelion is growing right next to a pretty flower or other decent plant, it is difficult not to hinder it when attempting to pluck out the nuisance.

That’s how I imagine God’s labor when separating the worldly weeds away from the fruitful seeds He has sown in our lives.

I have to ask myself, if the Lord was in His garden today digging out the pesky thorns and thistles, am I clinging too close to such weeds that I would be damaged or even uprooted along with them?

We have been placed in this world and, yes, there is some of it we have to partake of in order to get through life; however, we don’t need to be of or like the environment around us.

Ask yourself…

Who or what inspires you most? Do you find yourself constantly impressed by the individuals and ideals society and the media places on pedestals?

Are the songs that often get stuck in your mind composed by an artist, who, though talented, lives a questionable or unstable lifestyle? Who is he or she inspired by? Do the words out of your mouth often reflect a movie quote from an unedifying film?

Here’s my challenge: If we are more enthused and inspired by carnal, earthly things, we might want to take inventory of our time spent and prioritize it a little.

Common sense tells us that whatever we commit our time to and allow our minds and hearts to be under the influence of will be reflected in our everyday lifestyles.

Matthew 7:16-20 explains it is a person’s actions that give away whether a seed which was planted in a heart has been kept well-watered and fertilized or if it has been tainted and corrupted.

How long has it been since you looked at your garden? Has it been influenced by the right mixture of sunshine and cool spring rains? Or has too much shade, bitter frost, or dry air impaired its fruitful development?

If it is heavily influenced and overgrown with aphids, disease, and infectious weeds, try applying the antidote of Colossians 3:17, and let the Word of God filter through everything you set your mind to do, judging whether it will have a negative or positive and edifying influence on your relationship with Him.