My dad was a DIY kind of guy.  He cut our hair, pulled our teeth and treated our diseases.  His solution for a cold-fueled cough was a spoonful of Vicks Vapo-Rub – that slimy, translucent gel that reeks of Eucalyptus.   

It worked!  We would stop coughing – until mom administered CPR.    The company must have heard about dad because they eventually put a warning on the label of each jar: “Not to be taken internally.”     


There are other things that should not be taken internally – like the amoral values that shape our culture. 

They are pumped through the entertainment industry, water cooler conversations, schools with agendas, internet interactions, politically correct employers, advertisements and so on.   

It’s an intrusive and oppressive problem and yet the Scripture tells us, “to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27) NETBible®  

Interesting!  When you paint something, you put a coat on the exterior.  It can easily be sanded down to the bare wood again.  But when you stain something, the thin liquid soaks much deeper into the wood.  It’s sorta like the paint is on the wood while the stain becomes part of the wood.  To try to sand it off is next to impossible.

James understood that the values of this world, work on us as a stain does.  They become insinuated and buried deep into our thinking and character. 

So, what can we do to create stain resistant conditions for ourselves and our children? 

– drink deeply from the truth. 

When a board has been already stained with a dark rich stain, any added stain does not make a difference.  We need to be stained not by the world, but by the eternal, unchanging life-giving truth of the Word of God.  Read it daily, drink from it deeply and pray it into your life. 

– evaluate the media

It’s tough to live today without being bombarded by the media, but we can choose wise, safe sources for our news and entertainment and we can critically evaluate whatever is broadcast.

– physically meet with the saints

To believe the Scripture, is counter cultural today.  We who trust it are made to feel like the odd man out.  We need to be frequently reminded that there are many like us who cherish the truth and we need to be with them and interact with them and find courage and support from them. 

Personal involvement in a local Bible believing church will do this for us.  Our kids will learn that there are other families who treat cell phones and net access with the same level of scrutiny as you do. 

But you watch church on Facebook every Sunday!  Sorry that ain’t gonna do it for you or your kids.   You need face-to-face interaction with the people of God. 

– build interpersonal relationships with the likeminded

When we were kids, we often succumbed to peer pressure.  What we needed then and now, are a few good friends that share the same healthy biblical values.     

– keep an eye on your school

There is no perfect educational solution for our kids.  Each option has its assets and liabilities.  Regardless of your school choice – stay involved and evaluate and attend parent teacher meetings and ask questions.   Make sure that your values are supported by the teacher who monopolizes your child’s time.    And be extra wise about the university you send your kids to

– affirm what you believe

Start a family dinner ritual dinner and call it “This is what we believe and why!”  Consider one point each night and be sure to discuss it.  If your kids, ask questions or even challenge what you say – that’s a good thing.  It means they are searching for what is true.   

So, 2 things to remember – One: Beware of a culture that threatens to stain our souls and Two: Vicks Vapo-Rub is for external use only. 

A PRAYER: Lord keep us unstained and sand away that which may already be there. 

This has been Jim Johnson from  May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.