“We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves”
In this scripture Isaiah taught Jerusalem’s leaders that there’s no refuge in worshiping false gods.
It’s possible Isaiah was referring specifically to the false gods of death commonly worshiped at the time–the Canaanite Mot or Egyptian Osiris. Though a false god may make promises to protect its followers, its promises are empty. The only true and lasting promises come from God and His inspired servants.
As people in Isaiah’s day sought comfort in the false promises of idols, so many in our day seek refuge in the false messages around us regarding our material possessions.
Though all of the following things are not inherently evil, they can imply subtle messages that simply are not true. If we believe these lies, these things can become vices in our lives.
10 Potential Modern Vices:
1) Makeup, jewelry, etc.
- Lie: “Wearing makeup with a lot of accessories will make me prettier.”
- The truth: The most attractive part of a person is their attitude. Have you ever noticed how people with a positive attitude tend to have a glow about them?
- Lie: “Having a different color skin will make me more attractive and desirable.”
- The truth: All people are beautiful, despite the color or shade of their skin. Also, excessive tanning quickens the aging process of skin and can cause melanoma skin cancer.
- Lie: “Wearing tight or revealing clothing will make me more attractive.”
- The truth: You are most attractive when modest. If you attract more people by wearing less clothing, you are attracting the wrong people. Someone who only lusts after you cannot fully love you for who you are inside.
4) Video Games
- Lie: “Winning a virtual game is productive.”
- The truth: While there are more and more educational games available on the market, excessive video gaming can be a huge waste. Imagine if you spent two hours a day pursuing your dreams, instead of playing a video game. You could accomplish some much with that time. Your potential is limitless.
- Lie: “Others will respect me more if I drive an expensive car.”
- The truth: Respect is gained by living a good life. Compliments given regarding possessions are passing and illusive. While a car cannot earn you respect, it can get you into extreme debt if you’re not careful.
6) TV Shows
- Lie: “By watching popular TV shows, I’ll gain more friends and be able to connect more with others.”
- The truth: The one-sided pseudo-relationship you can develop with TV actors is a facade. Though a popular show may teach you what is “popular,” it will not necessarily teach you what is right. Many of the behaviors demonstrated on TV are very harmful to relationships (immorality, sarcasm, selfishness, entitlement, etc.) Though talking about a show with a friend might seem like connection, deeper connection can often be felt when you talk about feelings and ideas.
7) Cell Phones
- Lie: “By upgrading to the latest iPhone my relationships with those around me will improve.”
- The truth: While texts and phone calls can be an extremely positive way to connect with friends and family who live far away, these communication gadgets are no replacement for face to face interaction, especially with those who immediately surround us. The most quality relationships can be forged and maintained while talking to others in person. Having a cell phone is no excuse to ignore those around you.
8 ) Drugs/Alcohol
- Lie: “Drugs will make me feel better.”
- The truth: Have you ever met a drug addict? Their condition is miserable, and nearly impossible to escape. If they do not overcome their addiction, it can ruin their relationships and cause them to do things they never would do when sober.
9) Cyber Relationships
- Lie: “If I have online friends, I am socially productive.”
- The truth: While online friendships certainly can be positive, that’s certainly not always the case. Cyber relationships can quickly become vulgar or pornographic. Because many people are anonymous online, they may do offensive things they’d never do in person. At the end of the day it will be more fulfilling to develop friendship among your neighbors than among your online friends.
10) Muscle/energy supplements
- Lie: “Taking muscle-building or energy supplements will make me more powerful and energetic.”
- The truth: The truth is your body does not need extreme amounts of protein to build muscle- in fact consuming large amounts of protein is associated with kidney problems. Sure an energy drinkmay give you a boost of energy for a while, but that energy is not sustainable without buying more drink. Also, the caffeine contained in most energy drinks is associated with several health problems.
“Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth. It is sad that so many parents don’t realize what messages they are sending.”
- Virginia Satir
Personal Notes: I think a lot of these potential vices come if we allow ourselves to worry about what others think of us. Growing up I struggled with feelings of self-image, because of my acne. Now that I’m older, I ‘m grateful for the acne I had, because it taught me not to worry so much about what others think of me.