…one who loves what is good (Titus 1:8b)
Our culture has lost the beauty of wholesome.
Let me clarify where I am coming from, so you don’t think I am just boring. Wholesome is not a synonym for “no fun.”
By wholesome I don’t mean old-fashioned, although many old-fashioned experiences certainly fit the definition. I am not talking about a world before television. After all, what could be more wholesome than Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Jeopardy, or NCAA Basketball? And while I still love a good game of checkers, I also like video games, even though I’m not very competitive (at video games that is…I am dangerous at checkers).
Wholesome is not necessarily defined by the form (though it can be), but rather by the message. And the fear I have is that our culture is increasingly less capable of finding creative ways to express its message without resorting to unwholesome tactics.
Unwholesome includes words or actions that are ungodly and add nothing to a story, movie, television show or activity. Unwholesome is the sexual exploitation of people to sell a product, if not the people themselves. Unwholesome is the need one has to resort to sinful behaviors for self-promotion, because getting attention is more important than contributing something meaningful to society.
And so, when I see someone try to sell a product, promote a cause or gain a following by soliciting baser instincts, I can’t help but think: “What they are trying to say has no substance, so they have chosen a form that disguises the void.”
Leaders who love what is good surround themselves with and engage in those things that are constructive. They don’t waste their time or money on things that harm others or undermine foundational truths on which society depends.
Spiritual leaders have a sense of “good.” They recognize those things that come from the heart and mind of God. They know what is profitable for the healthy development of persons and the well-being of the Lord’s church.
Not long ago a man who makes his living organizing events commented on a party some believers had thrown. He said, “That’s the most fun I have ever had with a group of people who weren’t drunk!” I considered his statement a triumph for wholesome thinking and a victory for the testimony of the Lord’s people.
Whatever the activity, I can’t help but remember something they used to say in the country when I was a kid: “You don’t have to sin to have a good time.”
There I go…being old-fashioned!
Dear God, show me the beauty of wholesome. In Jesus’ name, Amen.