(I'll be away from the computer monday so you're getting my blog on friday instead of monday)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
My air conditioner is broke in my car. It's getting hot. You know for years people lived without a/c in their houses and cars and got along just fine. You know why? They were conditioned. They got used it, and before A/C they didn't know what they were missing anyway. However, we live in a society today where people are conditioned to have a/c, so when it's hot and humid(for you that live out west look up humid), people can't handle the heat, but really it's they think they can't handle the heat.
Now I'm not martyr, and i'm with the rest of you, I got a/c in my house still and there is no way I'd want to live without it, but I've decided to hold off on getting my a/c fixed in my car because #1 it's going to cost several hundred dollars, and #2 we need the money for other things, so I decided I will go this summer and just suck it up and suffer. (I bet people will not want to ride in my car).
Conditioned. That is what I want to talk about today. We get conditioned(get used to something). and it becomes acceptable or ok. That is what happens with sin or bad habits. The more you expose yourself to something though at first it may be uncomfortable or make you feel guilty, the more you do it or expose yourself too it the less those feelings reside and the more comfortable you get, til pretty soon you are conditioned.
Let me give you an example in my own life. Television/movies. There are things we see on tv now even on network TV that a few years ago, bothered me, offended me, and made me uncomfortable (foul language, content, etc) and now i hardly blink when I hear or see something on my favorite tv show or a movie, why? It's because I've become conditionied by it. Hollywood slowly pushed the envelope and society has slowly caved in, to where what once was awful is now acceptable.
I remember 20 years ago Ellen "coming out" on her tv show and everyone being in shock and it making news, you can't hardly watch a tv show or movie now without gay characters and honestly we don't even think about it too much, I know I don't. I've become conditioned.
I'm tired of being conditioned by the world. I want to exercise my freedom to change the radio station if I don't like the song, to change the channel if something in a show offends me, to walk about of situation if it makes me uncomfortable. Our being conditioned goes alot farther than just tv or music. It goes into hanging with the wrong crowd, dating and marrying the wrong people, and putting up with dishonesty and backstabbing at work. We can get conditioned to anything if we put up with it or tolerate it long enough.
How many of us said we would never say something or do something, yet later down the road we find ourselves doing that very behavior or having that attitude we said we'd never have? Conditioned. We've allowed ourselves to be conditioned. The thing is, it's different for all of us, I might take a strong stand on what music I listen to, but ignore what friends I associate with. I may take a strong stand on what tv shows I watch, but have little thought for how I choose a person to date/marry. I may take a stand for abortion or equal rights, but then I steal from work or look the other way why someone else cheats. You see how we can easily we can give in? not think things through? allow things into our lives? accept things?
God wants us to be accepting of others, but that doesn't mean accepting their behavior, lifestyles, or even becoming a part of their lives if it doesn't honor God. God wants us to live in the world, and not be "of the world. Meaning, we live in this world, we interact and be part of the world, but we don't do so until we become "just like" the world.
I may have to suffer without a/c in my car this summer, but i've already started getting used to it, to be honest, the extra sweating probably don't hurt me any, I need to lose back a few pounds anyway, but it made me realize, I dont need a/c, I want a/c. And you'll find there are lots of things in this world we think we need we don't. And lots more things we've made ok, but they are not ok in God's eyes, and alot more things we accept, that we shouldn't. I can't tell you what those things are for you, because we are all different, but I'd take inventory of your life on a regular basis and see what's sneaking in and what you need to get rid of and what you've become conditioned to that's not healthy and get rid of it, avoid it, or pray about it.