|Image by Sean MacEntee|
Guilt floods my mind as I click the little "x" in the top-right corner of Facebook. I sheepishly slip my smart phone back into my pocket after checking it for the thirtieth time that day - Nope, no new emails. My head aches as the television finally goes dark after a two hour reality binge.
I often feel regret for spending so much of my time involved in front of a brightly lit screen, but media does not always have to affect us so negatively. If we play it smart, media has the power to improve our daily living, bring us closer to family and friends, and challenge our walk with God.
I want to discuss the positives to three specific media outlets you encounter on a daily basis. I will also mention a few negatives, but that is not my main focus for this post. Today, I want you to view media as a potential tool to utilize in a God-honoring manner, not necessarily as a total time waster.
1. Movies and Television
Reality TV, sitcoms, and fictional on-screen romances have the ability to confuse Christians with what is considered the "societal norm". Living together as an unmarried couple seems okay when two people really love each other and gays are widely accepted as the popular girl's best friend. Media's powerful influence either forces you to disregard God's commandments on sexual immorality and various other sins, or it strengthens your beliefs and can fuel excellent discussions.
- The Adjustment Bureau became great dinner conversation when the movie tackled a perspective of predestination. It even inspired my husband to write a post on this blog!
- A recent commercial mocking marriage reminded us how society views our commitment and encouraged us to reverse the status quo.
- The Casey Anthony trial finally forced me to develop my own view on the death penalty.
I have a hard time remembering life before the internet age. It has connected me with family in ways beyond the typical holiday gathering and opened the communication lines with friends from high school and college. But most of all, the World Wide Web has given you and I immediate access to powerful sources of information.
- Instead of a trip to the library, we can download a book in the matter of seconds.
- Instead of traveling to a conference across the country, we can watch speakers through live web-casts or download Mark Driscoll's latest sermon on our ipods.
- We can uplift and encourage fellow Christians through facebook comments or blog discussions.
- We can "follow" and interact with pastoral role models and favorite authors on Twitter.
3. Reading Material
Book, Magazines, Blogs, and Newspapers - they transport you to far away places, enhance your relationship with God, and engage your mind. It's no secret, I love to read, sometimes even a little too much. But when books take away your need for the Bible, it's time to reevaluate what role the most important Book plays in your life. As long as you understand no author can ever replace the Author, you have a vast amount of resources available to you for reference.
Whether you enjoy Al Mohler, John MacArthur, Elizabeth George, or Beth Moore, each perspective will vary from one to the other. This widens the information pool immensely and benefits you, the reader! .
- You can explore the character of Christ in a new way.
- You can learn how to develop Godly virtues.
- You can read and be encouraged from the unwavering faith of another Christian.
- You can understand how your faith connects to the world around you.
In reality, all you need to strengthen your Christian walk is a Bible, maybe a notebook and pen, and a willing heart. All of the above mentioned media outlets have the capability to either help you accomplish this goal, or destroy it. Let's limit the negative effects media has on us, avoid abusing technology, and work on utilizing these resources to enhance our faith!
I deliberately left out the topic of music, because I want you to respond! How can music positively affect your walk with God?
This post is linked up to Media Mondays at Women Living Well