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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hosting A Steady Stream Of Strangers

Inviting in some seedy strangers

"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."

Philippians 4:8 (the Message)

I can still remember when some of my classmates were getting their first television sets in their homes. These were capable of receiving black and white images only, and from one or two channels broadcasting from about 6 am to 10 pm on a good day.

By contrast, most households today have constant and countless viewing options on multiple receivers, including smart phones, laptops and other devices.

Is all of this just a matter of our accessing some fleeting and harmless images on a screen, or is it more like our indiscriminately inviting random strangers into our very living rooms, dens and bedrooms?

Think about it. Would we normally even think of letting well-rehearsed marketers inside our homes to incessantly invade our privacy and batter us with us an endless array of ads for their products and services? Since we tend to so resent telemarketers who bother us with unwanted phone calls, how did we begin to allow ourselves to become accustomed to a barrage of other forms of intrusive sales pitches?

Think abut it. How many professional entertainers and athletes (whose values are often directly counter to our own) would we ever consider actually inviting into our homes to perform for us?

And how selective should we be about having a regular lineup of preachers, politicians and pundits into our living rooms to propagate their views?

The short answer should be very, very selective, not only during Lent, but all year long. If we have a remote, we will improve our lives by keeping the power button mostly at Off, and inviting more real people we genuinely care about into our homes.
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