Musing on A-musing

Mark and I have been talking about this topic and I had been working on posting about it when I read this on Rachel’s (one of my real-life friend’s) blog.  She said what I wanted to say and she said it well.  So this is re-posted with permission from For Kith and Kingdom.

Amusement.  I had come across the word yesterday and it had scolded me slightly.  It always does.  I recall going to a seminar with my parents once at Berea Baptist Church when I was on college break—a rather long time ago now.  The speaker within the short designated hour clearly commanded my attention toward some simple everyday words, so that my future encounters with amusement and entertainment, were not to be so unguarded as they had previously been.  A-muse, he pointed out, was derived from the Greek, the “a” being the prefix for “without” as in a-gnostic (without knowledge) and a-theist (without God). The “muse” being the word for thinking, pondering, considering. “-Ment” is a state of being. So amusement would, by strict etymological dissection, be defined as “the state of not thinking”.    He speared the word “entertainment” with similar agility. It collapsed pathetically to the floor in three parts: “enter” (to enter) “tain” (from Latin: to hold, possess, take captive) “ment” (the state of being).  The application of such word play was the challenge for us to thoughtfully muse—to consider—what we allow to enter our thoughts to hold us captive. And it did.

I found myself more thoughtfully analyzing the screens that bombarded me daily:  the news, the ads, the tv shows, the movies, even cartoons, and all the old-school media forms, too: books, journals, the radio, textbooks. I started seeing them for they were— a pulpit, a relentless, hounding pulpit, preaching to me what I should do and be and think—and often starkly contrasting what the Bible says I should think, feel, and do.  But Paul in the Scriptures urges us to see the world’s propaganda for what it really is:  strongholds and warfare (I Corinthians 10:5).  He urges us to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ”.  Wow.  Weapons on screens.  Weapons in God’s Word, that double-edged sword.  Warfare in my brain, two conflicting sides vying for power to enter and take captive my every thought, feeling, action.  And everybody else’s too.  I came to realize that we are in a cultural battle with the world about our thinking on absolutely everything:  money, glory, work, love, friendship,  marriage, family, children, purpose, sacrifice, justice, goodness, beauty, truth.  I dared not a-muse myself—any further not thinking on my part was an open invitation that the world would eagerly accept to entertain, “to enter and take captive” the very thoughts that ought to be obeying Christ

God calls us take every thought captive to him.  He wants to be the one to captivate us, to entertain us 🙂 , to teach us the how and why and what we ought to think about money, glory, work, love, friendship, marriage, family, children, purpose, sacrifice, justice, goodness, beauty, truth.  After all, He created them, and He made them very good.  So how should we think about these things?  Our thinking has to be be directed by God’s Word.  It is like a great compass to give us a sense of direction in the rambling landscape of life—if we ignore it through arrogance or ignorance, we do so at our inexcusable peril.  God has poignant language to describe those who yield their thought and feeling and action to His enemy—they suppress the truth in unhrighteousness, their foolish hearts are darkened, their thinking becomes futile, they exchange the truth of God for a lie, they are given over to a depraved mind (Romans 1).  But as part of His kingdom, we are called instead to humbly submit our thoughts to the authority of Christ, the Word Incarnate.  And as we obey His Word, acknowledging its supreme authority in every aspect of life, we find we really are being transformed by the renewing of our minds.  We begin to understand these things aright and we learn to embrace and enjoy them in their beautifully resurrected form, in all their satisfying fullness, the way He intended us to before the Fall.

Christians of our day are unfortunately not exactly renown for their astute thinking skills.  “Feely” skills. Yeah.  Thinking. Not so much.  But in a cultural battle with the world for it all, God calls us to diligence and arms.  Our weapon is thought, and word, and deed shaped by the divine power, the transforming power of the Word Incarnate.

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13 Responses to Musing on A-musing
  1. Becky
    February 8, 2011 | 9:33 am

    I really liked this. Thank you for posting! We have been learning this too.


  2. Jenny
    February 8, 2011 | 10:57 am



  3. Robin
    February 8, 2011 | 2:43 pm

    Excellent! Would you permit me to re-post this?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:


    You are welcome to use a short quote from the post and link back to the original post on For Kith and Kingdom. For permission to do anything more than that please get in touch with Rachel through her blog.



  4. Kathi
    February 8, 2011 | 2:44 pm

    A great post to ‘think’ about Kimberly, thank you for sharing. Off to check out the rest of For Kith and Kingdom.



  5. MomStarr
    February 8, 2011 | 5:31 pm

    I have been convicted lately of a lack of meditation in my spiritual life. Meditation, that is, on the God of scripture and His Holy Word. I feel that all the amusements of life really do make it difficult for my mind to meditate on God and His word. I actually do not have as many amusements in my life as I did when I was single but those have long lingered in my memory making it more difficult to focus long enough to meditate. Also the demands of being a mother and wife can easily become an excuse not to meditate. I am determined to begin a practice of meditation in my quiet times. I know it is helpful to clear my life of even more counterproductive amusements or entertainments but I must replace those with meditation. I also deeply desire that my children see this need young. This post is the third confirmation to me that God is answering some prayers of mine lately. I need repentance in so many areas of life and am wondering why I continue to sin in certain areas. I think meditation will help keep my mind on Him throughout my days. I know this post is not about meditation but holding every thought captive to the obedience of Christ isn’t easy and removing amusements may not be enough….the Bible commands meditation. (Ps. 1;Ps. 119;Josh 1:8; Ps. 19; etc. I think this is what I am lacking. I want to encourage this in my fellow Christians. Thank you for this post!!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    You are absolutely right, thank you.


  6. Valerie
    February 9, 2011 | 2:13 am

    That is so good, and so true. I am not sure a more powerful message is needed for this generation. It is so spot on to our battle. And although there are many battles on the front, this is the invisible one, the one few seldom see. I pray we all open our eyes to the war that wages for our thoughts and minds and hearts. Especially for our children. Thank you for the reminder!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:



  7. Mrs. White
    February 9, 2011 | 5:57 am


    Mrs. White


  8. Amanda
    February 9, 2011 | 7:12 am

    Someone once told me about an elderly woman they knew, who said her life’s goal was to be so focused on/consumed by God that she didn’t need to be entertained. Wow. Great post, very convicting. It’s so easy to be tricked into thinking that it’s only what we think about when we’re “paying attention” that matters…thus leaving the moments we’re not paying attention WIDE OPEN for our enemy.


  9. bunny
    February 9, 2011 | 10:01 am



  10. Celee
    February 10, 2011 | 11:09 pm

    I agree. My husband and I have really changed regarding this in the last several years. We now regret ever allowing our kids to play video games, but for now are trying to teach self-control rather than just taking them away. As for me, without ever planning to, I left tv behind a few years ago. That’s part of why I went back to school. I was afraid I didn’t have the self-control to NOT watch tv if home all day (that was 4 kids ago and pre-homeschool.)

    A devestating side effect of our amusing ourselves to death, to borrow Neil Postman’s phrase, is the loosening of social bonds in order to pursue our individual entertainment. We are working at being counter-cultural in this area, or should I just say biblical.

    Interesting thoughts. Thanks for posting this.



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