Your relationship with media will either help or hinder your decision to follow Jesus.
BB's & Bullfrogs
Don't be a bullfrog.
The king talked to him and he found none equal to them.
Bullfrogs will eat anything.
At least that’s what the experts say. They say that if you’ve got a pet bullfrog, remember not to overfeed him—he’ll eat anything that moves.
If you fed him a few BBs from a BB gun, he’d likely eat those, too. As you rolled those shiny little BBs in your bullfrog’s direction, he’d quickly slurp them up with his long, sticky tongue. One by one he’d keep gobbling them up never noticing that the BB’s aren’t food at all. Indeed, a well fed bullfrog can leap a distance 30 times his own length. But a bullfrog stuffed with BBs is essentially pinned to the ground, completely immobile.
When it comes to media, we are often like bullfrogs. We passively consume whatever content comes across the screen, rarely noticing that we are ingesting bits of culture that are no good for us. Eventually we find more and more difficulty in being moved and led by the Holy Spirit.
Daniel of the Bible was not a bullfrog. When he was offered a chance to eat from the king’s table, he politely declined. He understood BBs. When the king recruited his friends and him to study the language and literature of the Chaldeans, to eat the way they ate and be educated in their ways, Daniel knew it was really a ploy that would lead him to adopt the Chaldean culture and leave his Hebrew roots—and faith— behind.
Media communicates specific messages about culture, and we must politely refuse to be indoctrinated by them. Passively consuming any media content that rolls by without closely examining the messages will shift our beliefs. While it may not cause us to immediately abandon our core values, passively ingesting messages may cause us to lose our determination to follow our faith with zeal (and make us pretty lukewarm). Our stance regarding Jesus’ teachings may loosen as we elevate the point of view of popular culture. Over time we may find that we have become as spiritually stagnant as a bullfrog full of BBs (1 John 2:15-17). So let’s be like Daniel instead.
It wasn’t that Daniel never learned the language and customs of the new land in which he was living. It is that he was acutely aware of the king’s ultimate mission and the consequences that would follow if he complied with that culture’s way of life.
Daniel and his friends had the courage to reject culture despite what anyone might think. As a result, not only did they become healthier and stronger than the others, but they were also given great knowledge and understanding from God Himself (Daniel 1:17). This led to huge influence and wide-spread impact.
Daniel’s refusal to take the BBs and conform to the culture caught the attention of the king. His mindset was so unparalleled that the king began coming to him for advice and guidance. Thus, instead of Daniel becoming paralyzed by the culture, he was placed in even higher positions of authority becoming one of the nation’s greatest influencers.
Read Daniel 1. Why did the the king want to train a selection of the Hebrew boys?
Can you think of any examples of BBs, or media messages that don’t support your decision to follow Jesus?
Is it possible to reject culture and still be an influencer these days? Offer some arguments for on both sides?
How have BBs affected your personal life? The life of those around you?
In smaller groups of 3, make a list of the top 10 songs on everyone’s playlists or suggested songs from Pandora, Youtube or Spotify. Work together to identify BBs.