America was in the midst of the Great Depression when the term “dumbing down” originated as slang in the English language. It was used by motion picture screenplay writers who challenged themselves to revise their scripts “to appeal to those with little education or intelligence.” Sadly, not much has changed in the entertainment industry over the last 81 years.
I recently heard a country song that brought tears to my eyes. However, it was not the kind of tearful response one might imagine being evoked while listening to country radio. I was sickened – and saddened – by the lyrics in “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves. Moms and Dads, beware. The goal is no longer just a “dumbing” of America. It is a numbing.
In the song, to “follow your arrow” is synonymous with “following your heart.” A subject about which God’s Word has a lot to say. Jeremiah 17:9 is clear, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Matthew 15:19 states, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander…” Proverbs 28:26 calls the person who follows his heart a fool.
Parents, if you haven’t heard Miss Musgraves’ Grammy-winning song, don’t go wasting your time Googling it to study the lyrics. Instead, I encourage you to look up the above Bible verses with the little eyes and ears entrusted into your care and read them aloud together. Then, if you must have music, download “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns. Frontman and songwriter Mark Hall explains the inspiration behind the song and the habits of our heart:
“People don’t crumble in a day. You don’t fall, you fade. In your mind, there’s that pride that says, ‘I’d never do that…’ But you don’t just do it. It’s a slow series of compromises, little ones that go there eventually, until you’re sitting in a place you’d never go, doing something you’d never do. And yet, the way you’re living totally makes sense to you somehow because you’re so numb.”
God’s desire is for us to love Him with our whole hearts. That doesn’t come naturally. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that only starts when we admit we are sinners and acknowledge our self-effort is futile. It’s as simple as confessing with our mouths that “Jesus is Lord” and believing God raised Him from the dead. Then, we’re given a new heart. One that can be programmed to follow His best for our lives.
Life is a chain of choices and each choice has a consequence. Whenever I choose to disregard the Lord’s authority over my life, I move in the wrong direction. An inch becomes a foot; a foot, a yard; the yard, a mile. The next thing you know, you’ve missed the mark and you’re numbly wandering in a wasteland of broken arrows.