Friday, June 29, 2012

Scripture vs. Society: Media

Media- the main means of mass communication such as newspapers, magazines, radio, and television
I know we’ve done posts about the media before, but I kind of want to get a deeper understanding of its importance of it with this one. I think media has the biggest impact on our generation as opposed to any other means of expression, information, and influence, so it warrants a ton of discernment.
Everybody has heard the saying “A picture’s worth a thousand words”. What would we think if we attach that saying to the 40,000+ advertisements that we see every year? Would we consider the possibility that the media is telling us a lot more than we realize on a daily basis? Mass media has become such an everyday staple that we fail to realize its immense impact.
Newspapers, magazines, blogs, television screens, and radios are constantly hitting us with images, aspirations, and opinions. That’s the point, right? Well, the problem is that there are half truths and no consistency in their messages. Any fourteen year old girl can pick up a magazine off the rack at a grocery store and read the headlines “Be Beautiful in your own Skin” and “Lose 15 Pounds in Two weeks” on the same cover! And do I really need to provide a list of how many products are the absolute best in the same business?
In a country where news reporters play to public opinions, radios and advertisers point us to “easy street”, and sex and violence are the things that sell, what kinds of worldviews and values are we pouring into our generation’s hearts and minds? Mass media is the easiest and biggest venue that Satan could possibly use to promote or entice us with sin.
Now, I promise this isn’t a post about bashing the media. I think televisions, blogs, and radios can be fantastic things if their utilized properly and positively. However, I do believe that there could be much better messages that can be broadcasted worldwide than destructive or excessive lifestyles and Nicki Minaj lyrics. What I’m saying is that there are bigger things to live for, more satisfying truths, and important nationwide and worldwide needs that could (and should) be addressed through the use of mass media.
As Christians, I think the best thing to do is keep the “in the world, but not of the world” mentality when discerning what is or isn’t good for us to watch, read, or listen to. It basically boils down to taking in information that is going to glorify God and edify (improve or encourage) our souls and doing our best to consciously avoid material that doesn’t. I’m not say blindfold yourself when you walk past the magazine rack in the grocery store. I’m saying invest more purposeful time in what will strengthen and encourage you, spiritually and intellectually.
Luke 12:34 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We should value God above all else and that should translate into every aspect of our life, including the media choices we allow into or lives. That’s easy to say, but hard to put into practice, right? I don’t disagree. It’s going to take some level of sacrifice. It might mean that you delete some music of your itunes, or be a little out of the loop on the latest celebrity gossip or TV show. But I think those are smaller matters compared to your spiritual growth and purity.
It might not mean that you completely cut everything out of your life that doesn’t specifically revolve around God. Just use discernment, a lot of it. And if you need help with it, ask for input. Family members, pastors, and older church members are all resources that God put in your life to help you with these kinds of decisions. (A conscience is also a good thing to listen to.)
The main thing is to not stress too much and think legalistically and if in doubt, go with what the Bible says, go with what edifies your soul and brings God glory.

1 comment:

Cara said...

great post! When in doubt, go with what edifies is a great rule to have!