Fellow Survivor Sister: Rachel Thomas blogs with us today on what the Bible says about Media and our Culture. She is amazing, so pay attention ya'll!!
"Hi Everybody! I’m guessing you’re here because you love (or hate) how my amazing survivor sister Rebecca Bender shakes things up…especially those safe little Christian bubbles we sometimes lock ourselves in. Well, I’m a shaker too <3 And this blog topic—Media Influence- might get under your skin. Truth is that we have ALL fallen short of the glory of God in this area. So many of us have been strolling through life with our head in the sand but it’s time to wake up!
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6)
As you know, TV, radio, magazines, and the Internet weren’t around in Biblical days. So, if you’re looking for a verse that straight up says, “Thou shalt not listen to Lady Gaga” or “Thou shalt not watch Real Housewives,” it ain’t gonna happen! BUT, what we DO find in the Bible are instructions for 1) the kinds of ATMOSPHERES we should allow our minds to be in and 2) the kinds of SEEDS we should allow to be planted in our hearts.
Have you ever watched, listened to or read something that instantly took your mind to an unholy place? For example:
That magazine that makes you jealous of other people’s bodies and lives
That song that makes you lust over that person who’s definitely Not your spouse
That show that makes you laugh at people and forget what God says about compassion and grace
You know exactly what I’m talking about, right? Of course you do. So, what does God say we should do about it? TURN IT OFF!
In Psalms 101:3 David says “I will set no wicked things before my eyes” (and I’m sure this applied to his ears too!) Please know-- this man was speaking from experience! David is the man who was on his rooftop one day-- minding his own business-- and happened to see Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop. He looked and continued to look although he felt his mind entering a sinful atmosphere. Eventually, that look turned to lust, and that lust led him down a path of adultery, murder and dangerous disconnection from God. (2 Samuel 11) Juicy story right? And it all started with a look.
Living in today’s world, it’s impossible not to see and hear all kinds of things that don’t glorify God. But, like David learned the hard way, we need to be careful that we don’t stop and stare at (or stop and listen to) media that can have a wicked effect on us. Looking too long was the same thing that got Eve into trouble in the Garden of Eden-- she stared at the fruit, saw that it looked good and then ate it. (Genesis 3:6)
If you pay attention, you can feel when your mind begins to shift into an ungodly atmosphere. Don’t try to fight through it or convince yourself that your mind is more powerful than the media; that’s just a prideful and naïve trap. TURN IT OFF!
Personally, I learned a long time ago how to turn off songs that came right out talking about, “I wanna sex you up” or “My man left me and I’ll never love again”. It’s like WOW, really?! As soon as I started really listening to the lyrics I realized that they made me feel horrible! Why listen to songs and watch shows that describe the exact OPPOSITE of what I want for my life: a one-night-stand, immature love based on looks or quick feelings, depression, anger, screwed up values? No thanks, OFF! But there’s another type of dangerous media that we still have to be careful of… #Seeds
Satan is so good at planting sneaky little seeds in our hearts through media. I’m not talking about media that instantly take our mind to unholy atmospheres. I’m talking about media that seem innocent and entertaining at first but SLOWLY reprograms our view of what’s normal and acceptable, even if it disagrees with God’s standards. This is media that most of us know and love and don’t notice anything wrong with. Examples:
Media that portray hooking up, shacking up and adultery as normal and acceptable (Scandal, The Breakup, Sex and the City, 90% of pop songs, 90% of shows on TV)
Media that portray cursing, evil speech and fighting as the normal and acceptable thing to do when you’re angry (Real Housewives of Everywhere, Dance Moms, many talk shows)
Media that portray money as God and material possessions as value or status (90% of secular rap songs, many top fashion magazines)
These types of media make sin look so normal and acceptable that we barely even recognize the sin! Over time, it makes our hearts more sympathetic towards sin and we begin to compromise God’s standards. Honestly, who really watched The Notebook and said, “That was a great movie except for the fact that they had pre-marital sex”? Yeah right! We watched it, we cried, we felt all fuzzy inside over the romantic scenes and then we went on with our lives, not even realizing that the movie just planted a seed in our heart: it made pre-marital sex seem a little less sinful and a little more romantic.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will.” How can you RENEW your mind if you’re feeding it with sinful junk? Gotta learn to turn it off.
This message might be tough but it’s not my goal to make you crazy and stressed out about every little commercial you see or every song you hear. Just remember this main point: If God wouldn’t sit next to you and watch/read/listen to whatever you’re watching/reading/listening to, turn it OFF. I challenge you to dig a little deeper to find some of the MANY better media options…good stuff that’ll keep you entertained AND inspired. Here are some of my favorite better media options:
Positive music artists: Mali Music (hip-hop), Lecrae (rap), Natasha Beddingfield (pop)
For more resources or to book Sowers Education Group for a Media Influence Awareness presentation please visit www.SowersEducationGroup.com. "