Monday, April 18, 2011

Seeing and hearing...vexed his soul?

I was struck by this verse while doing my devotions yesterday:
"And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)" (2 Peter 2:7-8)
Lot vexed his soul, not by participating in the evil deeds of the wicked, but just by seeing and hearing them.

I often think (especially regarding movies), "Seeing and hearing this thing won't hurt me--it would only be wrong for me to participate in it."

So this verse challenged me to think a little deeper and be a little more careful. I may not be in danger of committing the actual deed, but I am still in danger of "vexing my soul" whenever I see and hear sinful acts.

So what is a vexed soul? Is it really that bad? In Lot's life, we see evidence of a vexed soul in the fact that he would offer his two daughters to the wicked men outside his door.

How could he give innocent women to be raped by a gang of lustful men?
Could he not tell that this was wrong?

No, because his soul was vexed. Even while he successfully maintained righteous standards for one form of evil, he unconsciously became desensitized to other forms of evil. He had his guard up against one, but his guard against the others vanished.

How many Christians have "vexed their souls" watching movies that contain sex, violence, rebellion against authority, foul language, and other wicked acts? How many excuse it for one reason or another, never realizing the damage they are doing to their souls?

More importantly, how have I vexed my soul in my life? Am I taking care of my soul? Am I living in such a way as to protect my soul from wounds and damage? Or do I think, "Hey, I'm strong. I can watch this movie or this television program without any damage to my Christian walk. I mean, it's not like I'm going to go out and do those things." This type of reasoning doesn't work in the light of this passage.

Let me do what David did, when he said in Psalm 101:3, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."


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