A few years ago I was in the Verizon store I overheard a conversation between a teen girl and her mom. The teen girl expressed how she wanted a particular expensive phone and her mom stated, “it’s just a phone; I don’t understand why you need this. It’s not like the phone is your life.” Then the teen girl responded, “No mom, my phone is my life!” Then she walked away. This teen girl fell into the trap that I’m hoping you will avoid.
Media is an agency by which a message is conveyed, transmitted, or transferred to someone else. It is a popular avenue for mass communication. Think about it…the smartphone you have in your back pocket can be used to connect with almost anyone in the entire world to receive or deliver a message! With your daily interaction with various sorts of media you are confronted with all kinds of messages, posts, tweets, videos, lyrics, etc that will impact your life in some manner.
The messages that media transmits can defile your thinking! For example, Achan (Joshua 7:1-26) allowed his eyes (what he saw) to affect his meditation (what he thought) which led to sin and deception (what he did). Achan allowed his input to control his output and it resulted in regret and the death penalty.
If you want to live in a high-tech world undefiled follow these Scripture principles: Don’t submerge yourself into a sinful culture, but find your delight in meditating on God’s Word (Psalm 1:1-3). Choose to allow your words and thoughts to be pleasing to God (Psalm 19:14). Guard your mind from defiling influences and messages (Proverbs 4:23). Tear down meditations (thoughts) that contradict God’s Word (2 Cor. 10:5).
Your mind is the Most Valuable Player in your life. All the decisions you make will flow from your mind. Guard it!
- 6 Statements about Media -
1. I recognize that I live in a media saturated age and that every wrong thing is screaming for my attention—my meditation. – Remember, media is way to mass communicate messages to other people. Someone somewhere wants you to listen to what they have to say. They are screaming for your attention! If you give them your attention they will start to convince you of their agenda and that will impact the way you live.
2. I acknowledge that media obsession is a huge part of today’s teen culture. *The average teenager spends about 53 hours per week consuming media! – Media is part of American/Worldwide culture and can definitely be used for many godly things and works. However, out of control media usage is dangerous and can really have some generational side-effects. By the way, 53 hours of media consumption is more hours than a full-time job! *Source: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation reporting via the USA Today & L.A. Times
3. I understand that much of modern media is either trying to defile (corrupt, brainwash, pollute) or divert (waste, occupy, squander) me. This can prevent me from preparing for my adult years. – Media that is out of control will do 2 things:
- Defile – It will corrupt your beliefs, morals, and values about life. It will seek to change the way you think about issues (love, sex, relationships, politics, marriage, children, family, money, church, etc). Be extremely careful that media isn’t polluting you!
- Divert – It will waste you! Media can be very addicting to the point where you squander away your time, energy, and money and have very little leftover to give to important matters. There is a time and place to enjoy media, but establish some guidelines to assure that you are NOT diverted from preparing for your future and growing spiritually!
4. My connection to cyber-world can cause me to disconnect from more important relationships (i.e. God, parents, pastor, family, etc.). It’s time to start using the OFF button! Disconnect to reconnect! – As great as media can be, it’s sad that it has and currently is destroying relationships and friendships. We can get so plugged into our media we neglect to cultivate face-to-face, heart-to-heart conversations and genuine interaction with important people God has placed into our lives (parents, family)! It’s time for you to start disconnecting so you can reconnect with your God, your parents, your siblings, your pastor, your family!
5. I must remember that what I text, post, tweet, send, listen to, or watch may become a “digital fingerprint” that could haunt me later in life. – When consuming media keep in mind that what you type, post, view, skype, and listen to can come back to trouble you!! Every time you log on you leave behind some kind of digital fingerprint that can be detected and could bring regret, disappointment, and sorrow.
6. I realize that my media intake will be digested and will come out in the form of values, decisions, beliefs that cause me to do right or wrong. Input = Output – Once again, your media input will produce a conduct output. The media that you consume will tinker with your values, decisions, beliefs which will generate a lifestyle!
What I meditate on is what I will become!