Heart Matters


Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. – Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)

The debacle between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the recent Academy Awards drove home a point that’s been needling at my heart for a couple of years now. The pricking happens when I turn on the TV or scan the latest Hollywood movie releases. A nettling jab also comes when I watch main-stream news. If I’m not turning my face away from sex scenes or covering my ears to raunchy language, then I am slapping my forehead at the confounding lies pouring forth from the national news anchor who has been in my living room every night for years–until 2020.

Where is Our Culture Going?

The truth is, we have not watched our culture slip slide into a bad angle here. No. Mouths agape, we’ve clinched our sofa arms watching this out-of-control freight train called force-feed the sheep head straight for hell.

No longer are the gutter-worthy script lines and sex scenes left for the late-night or R-rated movies we don’t let our children near. We are dished up perverse, and, quite frankly, evil images and stories on prime time these days.

Even though ABC edited out the nasty word Will Smith used after he took the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock, there’s not a preteen in our country that couldn’t lipread Smith’s word choice. And just in case anyone missed the award show and got curious about the disaster, an unedited version of the live and onstage altercation went viral.

I mean, what happened to family prime time?

It’s called woke time now.

The Good Old Days — You Mean a Year Ago?

I remember a time when dignified souls got up and walked out when the vulgar and unimaginable happened in movies, plays, or presentations. Had Will Smith been so offended with the AA’s lenient boundaries and the host’s crude jokes, then why didn’t he boycott the rest of the show?

Wait. That’s right. He had an Oscar to collect.

I believe he would have made a more positive, long-standing impression if he’d stood up, said no thank you to the Oscar, and left to get a burger.

We all have choices.

I believe Smith’s reaction is a microcosm of our current society’s reactions to things that offend. That reaction? Get down on their level.

Instead of holding to our moral values, we’ve let the dark side overtake our society with talk of—originally—tolerance, but now full-blown acceptance.

I hope it’s not too late to take our Judeo Christian culture back.

Is it Prophesied?

It’s true that the Word of God tells us that in the latter days cultures will morph into some pretty evil stuff. For a full list of the coming atrocities, read Matthew 24. And I do believe that we’re entering into these times now. But because these days have been prophesied, we are by no means to pack up our morality and head for the hills, or bury ourselves in a fox hole, waiting for a rapture removal.

The Bible is clear, evil exists, and we’re to take action, keeping our hearts and minds pure and on point. We are to be image bearers, witnesses, and sharers of God’s Word. And to fulfill this calling, we must not  have one foot in the muck and slime and one foot on the rock. We have to put both feet on the rock, and close our culturally tolerant doors—lock ‘em shut!

Romans 12:12 says: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

We’re not suppose to look like the world. We’re not supposed to think like the world.

I believe, we must fill our minds and hearts with godly things, refusing personal entertainment that doesn’t support our biblical morals. Or, as I wish Will Smith had done, we have to sacrifice our Oscars.

Look at Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

To maintain thoughts of excellence, we should be willing to keep the thoughts of evil out of our heads. For me, this means choosing my entertainment wisely.

In Matthew 6:22-23, we read: The eye is the lamp of the body; so then, if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

I must keep my eyes on what is lovely from God’s holy perspective. I cannot compromise. I cannot wade around in the mirey clay waiting for my Oscar.

I have choices.

If I perish, I perish,


Chapter 1 of Laurie’s suspense Calculated Encounters Free to Read

Published by lauriegreenwestlake

Writer of three award-winning novels, L. G. Westlake is a gifted communicator, born out of a very real and raw journey with Christ. Her quest includes serving as founding director of a Crisis Pregnancy Center in Texas and both long and short-term mission work in Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Mexico, The Philippines, India and Guatemala. Today, L.G. serves as a manager of marketing and communications for an worldwide ministry that shares God’s Word with the world.

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