Protecting our spiritual sensitivity

Published 5:50 am Sunday, October 1, 2017

A couple of months ago, we brought a new English Bulldog puppy into our home and he has been such a wonderful addition to our family. When we bought him, they told us he was 8 weeks old, but after finally receiving his papers from the breeder, we noticed he was actually only 6 weeks old at the time.

He was a healthy bruiser and we would laugh at him stumbling and being uncoordinated, but now we realize it was just because he was such a young baby. We would sit on the front porch in the evenings and watch him investigate around the front yard. He was so happy as he would roll around in the grass and explore his new surroundings, but when he would hear a loud commotion or a noisy car passing by, it would scare him and he would come running to us.

After a while, he gradually became more used to the traffic sounds and lawn mowers and eventually it did not bother him at all. As I was spending time with him one evening, it dawned on me that our conscience is also sensitive to what we see, hear, and think about and how each of us can choose to remain tender-hearted or we can become calloused and indifferent. When we are confronted with sin, maybe we should consider running to God for protection.

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As we saw with the puppy’s development, we notice similar reactions with those who live close to railroad tracks or airports but they eventually get used to the sounds. We have several clocks in our home that are bonging and gonging all the time and when people come in, they say wow listen to all those chimes while we do not even notice them. It’s one thing to get used to sights and sounds that do not hinder our spiritual life, but it’s dangerous to let our guard down when it comes to accepting things that are contrary to God’s standard of sanctification.

I am reminded of the old Dick Van Dyke show where even though Rob and Laura were married, there were two separate beds in the bedroom. Back then even the idea of a married couple in the same bed was socially and morally taboo and that was only fifty years ago. What happened to our modesty? As television and movies are pushing the limits of morality, so are the temptations to dwell on thoughts that are corrupt and ungodly.

If we are not careful, we will become numb to perversion, darkness and wickedness like the frog who sits in the pan of water on the stove and hardly notices he is being boiled. If we absorb and accept small amounts of impurities here and there, before long we will not be offended or insulted at all, in fact we might begin to enjoy it. “Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” II Corinthians 7:1.

Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author and community outreach chaplain.