of Gutter, Mundane, and Noble Things
“The American church is also not immune to the influence of today's culture of celebrity and speed . . . We ignore meaningful content if it's boring . . . We sacrifice contentment, care and thoughtfulness in order to quench our insatiable desire for social interaction and cheap entertainment.” ––from an article by Stephen Mattson recently posted on Christian Today
I have thought often about the things we pursue with our minds and with our time as fitting into one of three categories: noble, mundane, or gutter. Gutter describes those things in life that are morally bad, in biblical terms one might say “sinful.” Most of us have little difficulty spotting gutter. We sort of know it, when we see it. Noble, on the other hand, describes those activities and thoughts in life that are good, worthy, and valuable. When you think about it, the vast majority of things we pursue with our minds are neither gutter or noble but rather mundane. They are not necessarily good or evil in a moral sense; they are just, well . . . morally neutral and ordinary. For example, last night I watched a little t.v. (The Discovery Channel) before going to bed. Now, most people would not call that gutter, but I seriously doubt anybody would call it noble.
We usually don’t pursue the noble, because its costly. Noble things in life require sacrifice, care, and thoughtfulness. As a result, we live the vast majority of our lives in the mundane, while trying to fend off the gutter. The problem is that when we live the majority of our lives in the mundane, its just a short slip to the gutter. Instead, we should spend more time pursuing the noble, the divine.
In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul writes to the Christian, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
If we would flood our mundane with things that are noble, we would find the gutter less often.