Winnowing Our Lives and Words
His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
Sometimes it seems we spend our entire lives surrounded by chaff. That worthless stuff, the junk that clutters our minds, our hearts, our living spaces. It’s in that catch-all drawer in the kitchen, and the bin in the front hall that’s meant to be only for shoes. It’s that offensive commercial on the TV, shown in the middle of that slightly worldly show we tolerate because we like to be entertained. It’s that word that we don’t say out loud, but we scream it in our thoughts.
Which begs the question–how can we roll around in the rubbish of life and not smell like it ourselves? I think if we are, we must be offensive to God.
Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed, and eliminating the chaff is an essential part of achieving transformation.
I choose to write YA Christian fiction because I don’t want to be pressured or tempted into including the chaff in my writing. It’s so easy to make the argument that a villanous character would realistically use curse words or that a teenage couple would engage in sexual immorality, so to be realistic, I’d need to include that. In fact, many secular critiquers have made that very argument to me in stories I’ve written in the past. But my writing needs to please Him, so there’s no room for chaff.
What scares me is just how easily the chaff comes to mind. Even though I don’t use certain words or gestures to myself, I often “hear” characters using them. And I know that comes from allowing chaff into my life via television, movies, “news” websites, social media posts, etc.
It’s such a fine balance, knowing when to shut off the TV, stop reading, stop scrolling, and turn our minds to higher things.
I don’t think winnowing out the chaff means we have to gather our families in a bubble. We just need to remember Philippians 4:8 and keep our mind on the things that are lovely, true, pure, of good report, etc, and if something in our life is not any of those attributes, we need to remove it. Period.