Okay so I'm having a hard day. You know I love you guys, right? LOL
When you make a cake, you gather your necessary ingredients: flour, eggs, sugar, water or milk, and maybe a flavoring like vanilla (or you open a box and add eggs and oil). You mix it together, put it in a preheated oven and when it comes out, you expect a tasty treat.
You can't add something like cayenne pepper to your cake and expect it to come out tasting like angel food cake. You know that doesn't work.
How is it then, that we (please notice I changed pronouns here to include myself) think that adding certain things to our lives - bad TV shows, books, friends, words, whatever - will not affect us in the long run? Why do we think we can add the cayenne pepper to the cake and still come out with angel food cake?
I am talking to myself as much as you. Last summer I was reading A LOT of books. I can easily read a novel or two smaller Love Inspired/Harlequin sized books in one day. Since I read so much, I rely on my library during those times. I had read through most of the "popular" Christian authors, searched for some less popular ones and didn't find many books. I was getting desperate, so I moved into the more secular branch of romance.
Not long after, I started getting panic attacks. My chest would tighten and I found it hard to breathe. I prayed and asked God why this was happening. He told me it was because of the books I was choosing to read, which He had already warned me against, by the way. When I quit reading them, the panic attacks disappeared.
I am not saying that this is going to happen to you if you read non-Christian books. I'm explaining to you what happened to me when I added cayenne pepper to my cake mix.
A verse comes to mind: Phil. 4:8, "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
What ingredients are you adding to the mix of your life? Are they honorable, pure, right, lovely, and admirable? Or are they cayenne pepper?