I used to have to get permission from the librarian at school so I could check out chapter books in the second grade.  I read Gone With the Wind, cover to cover before I went to middle school.  I have listed reading as my number one hobby since high school.  I graduated a month before our nation celebrated its bicentennial.  I can honestly say, I’ve loved books for a LONG time!  But I have never seen the book shelves covered with “less” in my entire life.  The number one novel, for many weeks, has been Fifty Shades of Grey.  The Wikipedia article on the book quotes the phrase “Mommy Porn” as an accurate description of its content.  I didn’t even know about the book until a friend called to “suggest” I do a review of it…she was joking!  No one loves a great book more than I do.  This bestseller isn’t “great” in any way.  But to all who are trying to pay attention to the world we will pass on to our children and grandchildren, why is a book like this a New York Times best seller?  And, as a co-worker asked, what do you say when the book comes up in a conversation and you want to speak with a Christian opinion of it?  We live in a country that allows freedom of speech and a culture that says what you do behind closed doors is your business.  Does it even matter that millions and millions of women, millions and millions of mothers and grandmothers, millions and millions of girlfriends and wives, are reading a novel like Fifty Shades of Grey?  In a word, yes.  In two words, most definitely.  In three words, it REALLY matters.  In four words, ok…I shouldn’t write that one!  It does matter what you read, and what you do in private, and what you put into your thoughts.  And does it matter whether or not you speak up with a biblical perspective, especially if God has called you to speak for him in that moment.  Here is God’s word on this subject: Why should you not read or view pornography, even in the privacy of your home?  Because our thoughts matter to God.  He does not only judge our “actions,” he knows our thoughts.  King David wrote, “”O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:1-2).  Truthfully, that entire Psalm is about how well God knows everything about you – because he loves you so much.  God does not want you to take your life or your thoughts to dark, sinful places.  If you wouldn’t read that book in front of Jesus, don’t read it.  If you don’t want your thoughts to be wrong, don’t open your mind to things that are wrong.  To every mom: your kids watch you more closely than you can possibly fathom.  It matters what you read.  To the wives: If your husband sees you read that novel, you give him permission to turn on his computer and view his pornography.  It is adultery, according to Scripture. (Matthew 5:27-28) When you open that book and open your mind to pornography, you open your home and your life to something evil.  You open the door to Satan and say, “Come stay awhile.” 

How do you speak God’s word to a group of women, who just want to talk, laugh and enjoy their salads?  Unfortunately, the desire to be politically correct has often kept Christians from being biblically correct.  And unfortunately, the desire to be biblically correct, has often caused Christians to come across as judgmental or sanctimonious.  Isn’t Satan good at what he does!?!?!  How do you put God into a conversation without also putting your foot in your mouth?  The first question to ask is, “Do I want to speak up?” or “Does God want to speak through me?”  One of my more difficult lessons, as a Bible teacher, preacher’s wife and a person with a propensity to talk too much – (I can hear my friends’ laughter now!) – was to learn that just because I have an answer doesn’t mean I am supposed to give it.  When should you insert your opinion?  When God has authored it, when your heart is pounding inside, and you know He has said, “I need you to speak for me.”  Pray and ask God to author your words and to fill you with his character, his Spirit.  THEN, you are ready to speak.  Chances are, you will hear yourself say words that you know are not your own.  God’s word and God’s wisdom are what is needed for those moments.  And remember, you are not accountable to God for how people respond, you are accountable for being obedient to the Spirit’s promptings.  Are you someone God can use to speak for him?  Billy Graham said, “We are the Bibles the world is reading.”  He also said, “Be to the world a sign that while we as Christians do not have all the answers, we do know and care about the questions.”  Isaiah wrote, “I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I.  Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

If you own the book, find a shredder and allow each page to become a visible picture of what God wants you to do with the sin in your life.  God wants so much more for you.  See him take your face in his hands and say, “I’ve made you my child and I want you to be holy.”  For all of us.  Give your witness some extra thought.  Is your life as clean as God wants it to be?  Is God able to speak his word, through you?  How often does He?  Study, pray, grow and then say, “Here I am.  Send me.”

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