It’s amazing to me how I can be reminded of things I forgot I even knew. I’ll be having a conversation, and something sparks a memory I’ve completely forgotten about. Or I’ll wake up with a song in my head that I haven’t thought about in years. Our brains are remarkable; they hold whatever we put into them.

That is good news and bad news, I guess. The old saying garbage in, garbage out comes to mind. And it’s true that if we watch, read, or listen to destructive things, it will have a destructive impact in our lives. But the opposite is also true: positive in, positive out.

That’s why it’s so important to use discernment in what we allow our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our hearts to absorb. Everything we allow in can affect us later.

I remember being the last one awake at my house one night when I was a teen. I had been very sheltered and had not seen many terrible things on TV or in movies. It was late, and we only had one TV in the house, so I turned the volume down and was sitting close to the screen to hear. I decided to start flipping channels to see what was showing when a black and white, grainy screen came on. It was our neighbor’s HBO partially coming through somehow on our cable box. And I saw a young girl being violently raped by a man wearing overalls. I don’t remember a whole lot about it, but in the time it took to register what I was seeing and to change the channel, that rape scene burned into my memory. And I’ve never been able to forget.

In these days of internet access wherever we go, temptations can grow. Who will ever know I looked at this? What difference does it make if I read this? But it has an effect, whether we realize it or not. I’ve seen young girls poring over magazines full of half-naked men and women reading erotic novels, and I pray, Oh God, please give them discernment; they don’t realize what they are opening up their hearts to. When we spend much time on seemingly-innocent eye candy, it can produce heart and soul cavities that overload and corrupt.

An old Sunday School song comes to mind…Oh be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear, be careful little mouth what you say, and be careful little feet where you go.