Ephesians 5:11. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
We are called to live above the world. I love the words of the third verse from the old song Higher Ground:
I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
In my work, I often hear stories of great evil. Broken people sit on my small sofa and tell me about the tragedies in their lives that have lead them to a counseling office. I am so thankful to have the Word of God to guide them to a place of healing, and often I am able to bring them to repentance in Christ.
The difficulty, of course, is that I am left with their stories in my mind, often accompanied by vivid mental images of what they have experienced. I learned long ago to pray at the end of every work day that God would put a hedge of protection around my mind, purging what I have heard so that my sleep is undisturbed and I am not influenced by what I have heard.
I can tell you, with great gratitude, that God has honored that prayer over the years. I rarely have a problem with my thoughts connected to what I hear from my clients.
Also, I want to tell you that some of them got into the messes they are in because they didn’t guard their thoughts, and they didn’t follow the command in this verse to have nothing to do with useless works of darkness. Satan can disguise sin and evil to make it appealing and attractive. A look under the surface, though, reveals destruction and death.
There is a series of ads on TV that feature people who have terrible cancers, emphysema, and other diseases related to smoking. They look awful. Then you see a picture of them before they started smoking, and you see what a wasteland smoking really is. I wish they would make the same ads for alcohol, promiscuous sex, drug addiction, and so on. All the surface beauty wears away pretty quickly.
Avoid the useless sins of the world. Don’t be afraid to take a stand for righteousness.