How to Deal with Drive-By Defilement
Updated: Feb 19
I tasted defilement this weekend…it was nasty.
It wasn’t something I did, but something I experienced simply going through my day. My husband and I went out to eat at a popular restaurant Saturday evening. Due to where I was seated, I had a front row view of the booth behind my husband. The couple there was all over each other. Because of the low lighting in the restaurant, I seemed to have the primo view.
Great. (Hear sarcasm here.)
My reaction was judgmental at their inappropriate behavior. I resented their intrusion on my relaxing evening and tried to ignore them. I averted my eyes and finished dinner, brushing it off. Their behavior wasn’t bad enough to report, or I probably would have.
Regardless, it affected my mood and my enjoyment of the dinner date.
Defilement accumulates in our lives like dust bunnies under a sofa. Disgusting but something we can ignore for a while.
Like walking down a dusty dirt road, we collect small, seemingly inconsequential amounts of defilement just going through our days. Remember that driver that flipped you off when you changed lanes in front of him? Or that preview on TV for the upcoming debut of another demonically-inspired series? Even that random guy you walked by on the street who was dropping the “F” bomb defiled you.
Defilement can come from a closer source – within your own home or family. The anger of a loved one can lash out at us. Whether it is justified or not, it defiles us. Someone’s nasty mood can defile us.
Our own sin can defile us and others. Ouch. Don’t be that person defiling others with your sin! When this happens, we need to repent before God (and ask others to forgive us if needed). Clear the air with God and accept His forgiveness. Move on.
But the day-to-day, drive-by defilement that collects on us from simply being human and walking through a sinful world, how do we take care of that?
Defilement must be dealt with spiritually.
God showed me I didn’t deal with the situation correctly this weekend. What should I have done differently with the inappropriate couple? How about a snarky comment like, “Get a room!” No, not that I didn’t think it. The conduct wasn’t bad enough to report to the restaurant management, but if it had worsened, I would have.
God cares most about our reaction to sin. While we should never condone it, we must still react in love to the sinner. Hate the sin; love the sinner. I know it sounds crazy, but I should have loved them. Then I should have taken authority over the enemy’s infringement on my personal space, and that of any other diner within sight of the couple.
Deal with the spirit behind the sin through prayer.
Here are the steps for dealing with defilement from someone else’s sin:
Don’t be passive about dealing with defilement. The best defense is a good offense. Put on the armor of God daily (see Ephesians 6: 10-17). Verse 11 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Putting on God’s spiritual armor is a strong offensive action that may disarm the enemy’s ability to attack in the first place. If not, it will help you discern and deal appropriately in the moment. Don’t leave home without your armor! (I wish I could remember to put it on before I get out of bed most days.)
Recognize the sin/defilement. Many times, we brush it off and don’t recognize how profoundly the negative stuff of life affects our attitudes, moods, and consequently, our reflection of Jesus to others. Pray for discernment and be alert to defilement.
Respond in love and forgive. Sinners sin. Without Jesus, we might be that person. We must confront the world by responding in an opposite spirit. Our attitudes should reflect the love of God. God’s love can change the atmosphere without words. Sometimes, it is appropriate to confront, but do so with great wisdom and restraint. We live in a volatile world, so pray before simply reacting in righteous anger. Louis and I were on vacation this summer, and we were walking through a park where children were playing. A man was talking in a loud voice laced with profanity. My husband kindly asked him to lower his voice because of the children. The man apologized and did so.
Take authority over the enemy. If the incident is on-going and not a quick drive-by defiling, pray. Recognize the true source of the defilement and bind the enemy at work here. When our personal peace is being violated, we have the authority to respond in the power of the Holy Spirit: “Enemy, I bind you and loose the Holy Spirit into this situation, in Jesus’ name.”“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV
Ask God to cleanse us from acts of defilement. Simply ask Him to bathe you in His presence and clean off the dirt.
Wash ourselves in the Word. Immerse yourself in God’s written Word by reading several chapters in the Psalms or the Gospels. Read it out loud if that is how you process best. This admonition from Ephesians 5:25-26 shows how important holy cleansing by the Word is: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.” NIV
Because I didn’t recognize the defilement, I allowed it to change the tone of our evening when I could have responded differently. The next day, after I realized how others had affected my spirit, my mood, and even my physical sense of well-being, I asked God to cleanse me of the defilement.
He is always faithful to do so.
Remember the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet?
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean.” John 13:8-10 NIV (Emphasis added.)
Jesus has cleansed us from sin, but our feet still get dirty.
Let Him wash off the world’s drive-by defilement!
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