Your relationship with media will either help or hinder your decision to follow Jesus.
Discipled by christ
Not by the culture.
Above all else, guard your heart. For everything you do flows from it.
Let’s talk about discipleship.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to walk closely with Him, our Great Teacher. Disciples learn from their teacher and make an effort to adopt the teacher’s way of thinking. As we study and listen to our Teacher’s messages, we get to know Him more and become more like Him. Not only do we begin to think like our Teacher, but we start to share His opinions and His values. Eventually, we begin to make decisions just the way our teacher would. This is discipleship.
Yet so often, our patterns of thinking and the decisions we make are more closely aligned with secular culture rather than with Jesus. We begin to make decisions the way nonbelievers would, adopting the opinions and values of a culture that does not revere Jesus. This weakens our faithfulness to the teachings of Christ and leads us to spiritual shortfall.
Culture’s great teacher is media. Media can be defined vehicles used to communicate messages to mass audiences. It is through ongoing time spent with media messages from TV, books, movies, ads and music that we learn—and later adopt—our culture’s way of thinking.
Even though Scripture tells us not to conform to this world, many of us are being discipled by culture through media. Instead of keeping renewed minds that are guided daily by the Holy Spirit, we experience an inner conflict because we have allowed culture to guide us.
Walking in wisdom means paying close attention to what gets into our unconscious minds. The aim is not to refrain from most entertainment media. Instead, we will learn how to keep the guards of our hearts on duty by analyzing media messaging, discussing the impact media has on culture, and seeking God together about the place media and entertainment can have in our personal lives.
This is why Proverbs 4:23 urges us to guard our hearts so diligently—because everything we do is a result of what is in it.
Theologians agree that when Scripture speaks of the “heart” (Prov. 4:23), it refers to the unconscious mind.
This ancient command to guard the heart is in line with our general understanding of human psychology. Psychologists have determined that most of our decisions and behaviors are driven by thoughts and experiences that are deeply held in our unconscious minds. These actions are often unexpected and out of line with our best selves. Christians refer to this as the problem of sin.
Among the many important spiritual disciplines Christians should adopt, actively learning to apply wisdom in the area of media and entertainment should be one of them.
Are you surprised at any of the media listed?
In what ways does media seem to shape, reflect or interpret culture?
How can we renew our minds when it comes to engaging with media?
What has guarding your heart previously looked like in your life?
We often set rules for children regarding media. In what ways do we [currently] set them for ourselves?
In what what ways has the church addressed the impact of media on congregant’s spiritual growth and development?