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|God has given us five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. These senses help us to learn about the world around us. God can speak to us through our senses. But so can Satan. It is up to us to guard these gateways to the soul. We must listen for God’s voice and keep away from Satan’s voice.
Thousands of messages come to us every day through our eyes. Some of these messages are good, and some are bad. While it is not possible to keep out all the bad messages, there is a lot we can do.
|How many of the things you see on TV are about violence, wrongful sex, drugs, lying, hatred and disrespect? The Bible says the eyes are the light of the body. If we fill our eyes with these evil things, we are more likely to do them. At the very least, they begin to seem less bad to us. The light has gone dim.
But you can choose to look at what is beautiful and good. You can choose to watch only those stories which will help you to love other people and want to help them. You can choose to read only those books and magazines which help you to see the love of God and His tender care for us. You can guard the gateway of the eyes.
You can choose many of the places you go to, and you can choose to stay away from places where the sights will make you forget God.
Another gateway is the sense of hearing. Teenagers like to listen to music, and there is a lot of music to listen to. But not all music will help us to become more like Christ. When you hear music, you should think about how it makes you feel.
Does it make you feel good about life and about other people? Does it make you feel strong and courageous? Does it make you happy? Then it is music you should listen to.
Or does the music make you think about sex or drugs, or other things you know you should not do? Does it make you angry, or make you dislike some person or group? Then that is Satan’s music, and you should turn it off.
There are other sounds we must think about. When a friend spreads gossip or tells “jokes” that hurt someone else, it is time to walk away. And we should not listen to people who tell us to hate those who look different or talk differently from us. Such people are speaking Satan’s words, not God’s.
We make sounds of our own, and these sounds have a greater effect on us than sounds other people make. What sounds do you make? Do you complain and argue and throw temper tantrums? Or do you talk softly and cheerfully?
One good way to keep yourself making good sounds is to pray a lot. It is impossible to swear or argue while you are praying.
The third gateway is touch. We can use our sense of touch to help us develop
our creative talents in art, music, cooking, woodworking, flower arranging,
writing, sports or other areas.
When we touch an animal, a flower or a newborn baby, we are learning about God’s creative power. When we use our hands to help others, we are growing closer to God. “Feed my lambs,” Jesus tells us.
When you touch someone else, it should always be in a gentle, supportive,
comforting manner. You should never hit or pinch or touch in a way to hurt someone. You should not use your touch to arouse sexual feelings in another person. And if anyone touches you in a private place-or in a sexual way, say a loud “NO!” and tell someone who can help you. Tell a parent, a teacher, your pastor or doctor or a policeman. These people are there to protect you.
Taste is another sense God gave us. Who does not love to eat? God made food taste good so we would eat and drink those things that will give us good health. But we should be careful not to overeat. And we should not eat a lot of sugar, salt, fat, and we should avoid caffeine, which can be harmful to our bodies. When you want a snack, it is better to eat an apple than candy or chips. It is better to drink water or milk than drinks that contain caffeine.
The Bible says our bodies are the temple of God. If you want a strong, vigorous, healthy “temple,” then you will always say no to alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.
Poor eating habits cause poor health. That makes it harder for us to think, and to resist Satan’s temptations.
It is hard to be kind and gentle and Christlike when our bodies are weak and sick and irritable from poor nutrition.
Even the sense of smell can bring us closer to God or closer to Satan. When we hang around places where there is tobacco smoke, drugs and alcohol, we are more tempted to use these things. The best thing to do is to stay away from places where these smells are found, especially if you have used these substances in the past and given them up.
If it is possible, walk out into the woods and fields. There you can smell flowers, pine needles, fresh-fallen snow and new-mown hay. If you live in the city, you might visit a flower shop or an arboretum, or walk in an open-air market or enjoy the smell of growing things. All these will remind you of the creative power of God, who loves us and made the whole world to bring us joy.
Our parents and grandparents sometimes say, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” This is true. The Bible says, “Wash yourselves and make yourselves
clean.” This is part of worship. And the clean smell of your clothes and body will remind you of the pure, clean heart God has promised to give you.
These are some of the ways we can guard the gateways. Jesus will help us. Don’t you want Him to help you choose to let only good things pass through the gateways? Why don’t you ask Him right now? He is always ready to help.
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