A part of me wants to read all of the popular books, watch the top-rated shows on TV, and view the most recent blockbuster movies. As someone who loves the arts, I like to think of myself as a person who has considerable knowledge of current culture. When I made a commitment to Christ, however, I quickly realized I needed to clean up my media consumption.
I soon began to find a regular diet of popular media not only distasteful, but enraging. Watching movies with teens and young adults heading off to the bedroom on their first or second date caused me to cringe. No wonder our youth consider casual sexual relations normal. And when TV shows pushed agendas like homosexuality, I just said no. I loved Project Runway, but I could not support something clearly condemned in the Bible. Couldn’t they have stayed focused on the fashion designing? I was sickened to see Shades of Gray listed as the top-selling book of the year. Perversion clearly cheapens sexuality.
Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God–what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
Our thought life is so very important. Our attitudes flow from our thinking. And, our will bursts forth from our attitudes. The transformation of our souls Paul speaks of here begins with the renewal of our minds. He tells us this renewal not only imparts the intelligence to discern God’s will, but also the desire and the power to do it.
Conformity to the world is the biggest enemy to the renewing of our minds. When we seek our happiness by falling in line with the common culture, we impede God’s good work of conversion in the life of our souls. The renewing work carried on in our minds progresses more and more as we live righteously to please God, not others.
Occasionally, I will view an R-rated movie if I believe it has special value. Schindler’s List comes to mind. I do my best to research even PG-13 movies ahead of viewing. After fasting from the worst, I have become very sensitive to inappropriate language and other content. It immediately makes me uncomfortable. I believe those who regularly partake of ungodly media become desensitized to it.
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 1 Timothy 4:1-2
As Christians, we want to keep a clear conscience so that the light of God’s Spirit can shine through to direct our path. Paul tells us our conscience can become seared, or blackened. When that happens, God’s light can no longer penetrate the darkness. A steady diet of garbage media dulls our sensibility. Then, our conscience no longer serves as a guiding light to discern what is or is not pleasing to God.
So, what are you reading? Watching? Consuming? Let’s diligently feed our minds with solely the best.
During the month of October, I focused my writing on Intellectual Wellness. I hope you will join me in November when I look forward to sharing my thoughts and perspectives on Emotional Wellness.