I just finished reading an interesting book, but the moment I put it down, I couldn't help but feel like a certain amount of virtue had deserted me spiritually.
Much as I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book (it was nothing spiritual), it left me with this void in my spirit man that I am still struggling to refill. I am the biggest advocate of not being too 'stuck up' as born-again Christians.
For example, I don't think there is a huge problem listening to particular secular music that talks to situations we too as Christians experience. And I think it can be actually dangerous in the long run, if one limits one's knowledge to strictly the Bible (for reading) and only Christian broadcast channels when it comes to TV and radio.
I think it is okay to enrich yourself with newspapers, good books and channels, along the way - good for business, good for general knowledge about what's going on around you. But we have to be careful; some secular material is better left on its shelves. The truth is, not everything goes.
Like in every aspect of life, use the spirit of discernment before digging into any programme or literary material. I remember a few years ago I went to the movies with a friend. The title and reviews of the movie sounded 'safe' enough and we settled in with our popcorn.
But as scene unfolded after scene, I kept catching myself loosing the blood of Jesus under my breath (comical, considering that no one had dragged me into the cinema hall kicking and screaming) because my spirit was not at peace with what was on the big screen.
Eventually when I left, again it was that feeling of having left a cardinal part of me in that cinema hall.
There are some amazing blockbusters, indeed, but let's also face it, Hollywood is increasingly the platform being used to make homosexuality look good - even trendy - plus a host of other lifestyles that contravene all Jesus Christ expects from us. Now I try to use the basic formula before anything: WWJD (What would Jesus do?)
Before going into a bar or nightclub and convincing yourself it is okay - "after all I am only drinking a Diet Coke" - ask, WWJD?
Remember, we live in the world, but we are not of the world; so, be choosy, lest you keep taking four steps forward spiritually and ten backwards!