Filtered: Consuming Media as Christians

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original graphic by: Jonathan Bremer

The struggle with media has been a prevalent one for Christians for some time now. As social creatures, we want to be in the loop with our friends. Whether we have a fear of missing out, or a fear of being left out of certain conversations, we try to alleviate these risks by watching the same kinds of movies and television shows, or listening to similar music. We try to ignore the less than wholesome content in the media we consume in exchange for talking points or conversation starters with our circles of influence. But, do we really think about the media we choose to consume? How do we choose what we watch or what we listen to? Most importantly, do we let what God’s Word says impact the way we interact with media?

http://susandintino.com/may-day-funny/
Christians in Media Cartoon.
Credit: susandintino.com

Growing up, my mom was always super strict with the media that she let my siblings and I absorb. Maybe it was to help avoid forming bad habits or to avoid shaping behaviors and tendencies. Nevertheless, I found it quite frustrating as a kid. I always remember her citing Philippians 4:8 in response to my frustrated grumbling and sighing. For all the times I would be annoyed with media restrictions or reminders of “what would Jesus do” (WWJD), I didn’t really put too much thought into the explanations. As I have grown over the years, however, my thinking has shifted drastically. As a youth it is easy to dwell on the “why nots” in life. But, as we mature into adults our thinking begins to shift from “why not?” into “why?”. This is crucial for Christians to think about when we consider what kinds of media we should or should not consume.

Let’s go back and see what Philippians 4:8 says and how it can apply to us today. It says:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Now this particular verse comes from one of Paul’s letters to the Church at Philippi. He wrote this letter as encouragement to the Philippians to live in unity and to follow the example set for them. He provided them with a litmus test, so to speak. A standard to measure up their thoughts, words, and actions to. This realization should change how we think about the type of media we consume.

When was the last time you mulled over this truth? Have you ever thought about why you choose to watch or listen to certain media? In today’s society, it is of utmost importance that we guard our hearts and minds from being filled with less than edifying things.

In fact, Proverbs 4:23 warns us of this, saying

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

https://www.316quotes.com/guard-heart-proverbs-423/
Proverbs 4:23. Credit 316quotes.com

I am guilty of consuming unwholesome media every day. It’s easy to go on “autopilot” and gravitate towards worldly media and ideas. But we can’t afford to forget that God has called us to glorify Him with our thoughts and actions. If we fill our hearts and minds with unwholesome things, are we glorifying Him? If we aren’t focused on the pure and the praiseworthy, where are our hearts and minds? If they aren’t on things of God, who are we serving?

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