Every year, an old friend sends me subscriptions to women’s magazines based upon my casual reading preferences from 30 years ago. I go through the magazines, tearing out recipes and making notes of household tips. However, over the years, one particular magazine – aside from the recipes and household tips – has become a mouthpiece for the Modern Woman, represented by the celebrity visages plastered on the cover almost monthly.
Typically the writers and editors try to reflect the spiritual side of such women. Let’s just say that their belief systems are not unlike a hot dog – pieces of this and pieces of that all pureed together into one indiscernible lump. They’re supposed to be just like me. Not.
So I shouldn’t be surprised that the editorial staff finally showed its true colors by publishing a story in the latest issue telling women that it’s good to be bad. They know this because research supports it. They say it’s so. It must be so.
The world will tell you it’s good to be bad. Your deceitful heart will sometimes even tell you it’s good to be bad. Sin brings pleasure, however short-lived. Such living makes for bad housekeeping, my friends.
“The wages of sin is death.” – Romans 3:23
The problem is, we tend to believe what’s reinforced repeatedly. If the world says it and our flesh enjoys it, we fall for it. So let’s unpack the bad behaviors these journalists and researchers say is good for us.
1. Gossip. What they say: Share every detail, they say, because University of California researchers say you’re actually helping people. What God says:
“A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” – Proverbs 16:28
2. Flirt with a man who’s not your husband. What they say: Flirting is a psychological boost. What God says:
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:28
(Remember, it works both ways, ladies.)
3. Read dirty books. What they say: Naughty is nice. It freshens things up. What God says:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise – dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
4. Take a day of rest. Finally we agree on something.
5. Put a positive spin on procrastination. What they say: Procrastination inspires. What God says:
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” – Proverbs 6:6
6. Eat more sugar and drink more booze. What they say: You’ll hate yourself in the morning, but tonight’s gonna be a riot. What God says:
“. . . and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” – Proverbs 23:2
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18
7. Be greedy. What they say: Take the last cookie. Research shows hoarding makes you happy. What God says:
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:20a-21
8. Um, we’ll just skip this one for the sake of our PG rating.
9. Forgive? Forget about it! What they say: Staying mad causes others to change their behavior. So there. Phhhhhhhhhht. What God says:
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13
Trust the researchers, whose opinions change with the wind (or with the funders), or trust God, whose truth is unchanging? I’ll stick with God, folks. No lie.