I've been reading the book, "Gate Keepers of the Home" by Nancy Campbell, where she teaches about the 12 gates of Jerusalem and how we can apply them to our lives today.
The "Dung" gate is the gate where--well, all the refuse was taken out of the city. (Makes sense, right?) So how does one apply the principles of this gate to their life as a Believer?
I'm so glad you asked! ;-)
We need to be constantly on the lookout for things in our homes and lives that need to be thrown out. I'm not talking about worn, useless old clothing and such...but rather the things that stink up our spirits; things like nasty attitudes, ungratefulness, selfishness and pride.
And then there's the tangible things that sicken our spirits--things that we place in a position of higher importance over our relationship to the Lord. In short, idolatry.
Things like TV, movies, music, clothing, our time alone, keeing a clean house---all of these things, if not kept in proper balance--are at risk of becoming idols, which God hates. He alone deserves to be #1 in our lives.
And even if we're not necessarily more "into" a TV show than we ought to be, but if anything in our lives is not wholesome--if it goes against Scripture--if it turns us against God and His ways even slightly--then they're not worth keeping.
I was extremely convicted of this in the area of music. I'm a HUGE 80's fan, and as a result, adore the music. This isn't to say that The Go-Go's aren't "good" for me...I'm talking about the other bands that I readily enjoy and didn't think anything of...(Gulp). Like for example: Motley Crue. (Anyone remember them?)
Now, I was always careful about playing any song that I felt might be "objectionable" around my children. (AHEM!) But that doesn't matter. It's the fact that I still had this music---when I'm a woman who professes to have Christ in my life--was the problem.
God would repeatedly tell me over the years to get rid of such things, and I would. For awhile. Then slowly, the music would return. Sometimes my stupidity and propensity toward being very "Ancient Israelite-ish" astounds me. (Sigh)
This isn't to say that other Christians can't listen to this. In fact, there are many things that the Lord convicts His children of at different times and at different levels. I'm only speaking for myself, and the fact that God clearly told me to get rid of it.
So that's what I did. I dumped it all into the trash.
Then I shared this study with my children. I had them gather around me on the floor while I read about the Dung Gate, shared God's conviction, and my decision. Hopefully if/when the Lord tells them to part with something, they will have the strength to do so. That is one of my prayers--that they will only want to please the Lord, no matter what that means to them personally.
Label me a fanatic; that's ok. I just don't want anything coming between me and my God.
What about you? Do you need to make a trip to the Dung Gate?