Published September 1, 2015

Shelia Shares
"Changing Attitudes"

As Paul and I have continued to take walks for several years, I've noticed something happening.

Initially, our walk took us past a lovely dog park. There were always dogs of all sizes and types there. The problem: my fear of dogs.

I would generally position myself so Paul would be between me and the dog. I could feel myself tensing. And, I would let out a breath of relief when we were a safe distance from the dog.

As we continued to walk, I would enjoy seeing the friendly dogs, the smaller dogs, the more mature dogs, the controlled dogs.

Recently Paul commented that I am much more at ease with dogs than I ever was. I still respect and sometimes fear certain dogs. But, that is a healthy fear.

It was with continued exposure that my attitude towards dogs has changed.

We can apply this same principle spiritually, although not in such a positive way. We look at changing morals in our country. As a society, speech has changed. Do we hear words on the streets or on TV and seem to think little or nothing of them? "That is just the way people talk." At one time, would we have been offended?

Do our "tolerant" minds accept lifestyle choices and expect others to accept them, too? In fact, does "freedom in Christ" somehow mean Christians can make those same lifestyle choices and not expect consequences?

We see dress styles changing. Perhaps we expect to see people in the world wearing skimpy clothing, but do Christians also wear tops low enough to show more than needed? Is style reflective of Christian guidelines or reflective of trying to be one of the crowd? Is dress different among Christians than among those who haven't met Christ?

Alcohol was considered inappropriate for a Christian. But have Christians moved to the "one drink isn't going to hurt anything" philosophy? Even with all the individuals and families and marriages that have been destroyed by alcoholic consumption, are consciences so seared that Christians aren't willing to limit their freedom?

Once murder would not have been accepted by a Christian. Have even Christians compromised by terming it a woman's "choice?" Why would we, of all people, attempt to validate destroying a created life?

Do you see what is happening? With continued exposure, I can tolerate dogs and even like dogs. With continued exposure, can I accept sin? Am I willing to compromise my faith and my witness? What about you? Have you looked at the drinks in your cupboards? Do all the clothes in your closet pass the modesty test? Is your everyday vocabulary the same as your church vocabulary? Take a look at your choices. Do they stand up to God's principles — which have not changed? If not, start sorting. Don't get adjusted to the world.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." — Romans 12:2

- Shelia

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