3.25.2014

GUEST POST: Whoever controls the Media controls the mind

Since the birth of Little Mouse, hubby and I have made several changes in our lives - particularly in the area of media consumption - as a result of our growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We were both raised in the Church (me as a Catholic and Luke as an Evangelical Christian), but only began to really dig into our faith after my baptism two summers ago.

In Autumn of this past year (on Halloween, ironically enough) Lucas spoke at a school chapel on the topic of entertainment. He spoke boldly concerning the Word of God, asked some difficult questions, shared the testimony of how God has blessed us immensely for changing how we spend our time, and started a firestorm of conversation among teens and teachers alike. It is a difficult exercise to pull back the curtain and take an inventory of your heart: How are you spending your time? How are the things you're filling your time with affecting you? Because however much we argue otherwise, they ARE affecting us.

One of his students wrestled with this idea for months. She prayed about it. She asked questions. Lucas asked her questions in return (he's encouraging like that; he'll almost never give the answer, he'll just ask you to read your Bible, pray about it, and find the answer yourself!). She read and read. She thought and asked questions and prayed and read and thought some more. Then, she wrote a journal entry that she was brave enough to share. 

And with her permission, I'm sharing it with you:

Whoever controls the Media controls the mind –Jim Morrison

This is a very true statement. We can’t do anything to control our own mind if we allow those that control the media control us. The media tells teenagers that we are just raging bags of hormones and should do whatever we want all day every because if it feels good, that’s just what we should do. We watch movies about witchcraft. We read about the supernatural. We say that it doesn’t influence us at all and I think that is the most incorrect answer anyone could possibly give. We become numb objects that couldn’t possible care anymore because that’s all we see and we internalize it quickly. We read it. We hear it. Our peers tell us these things all the time; why would we not internalize it?

We are willing to listen to songs that have a great beat but they have terribly foul language that even a sailor wouldn’t use around his wife. Think of it like this: we wake up in the morning and the first thing that we do is put our music on because we don’t want to hear anyone else. We go to school and we have our headphones in. We never get off our cell phones. We don’t know how to talk to each other anymore because all we do is text and learn who a person is that way. We can’t understand why but we internalize this method of living like it’s all we can ever do. Our mind hears everything we give it. 

Our soul is fed with what we choose to give it every day. We choose to feed our minds with garbage, which is exactly what we get out of our own lives. We want to be more than a piece of useless garbage on the sidewalk but that is all we feed our minds with so why shouldn’t we be a piece of garbage? You are what you eat right? So I guess if that’s what we are eating, that is what we become. Those that occupy what we hear occupy our minds. We are fed with this every day and soon enough we will lose ourselves to the mind of the media, accepting what they are preaching. The media allows us to live through them. We slowly die in the midst of our own choices. Media has taken its toll and soon we will not be able to stop it. We will be its mindless robots that do whatever it wants us to do. 

Media is like a drug; it slowly makes us feel important and that we can relate to it. Only that’s not the case. We long for its presence and what it brings us and we want it to bring us that happy feeling that it once did and we begin to crave its true presence. Once it has its grip on us we are powerless. We lose ourselves in its strong grip and what it makes us do. We hear it, look at it, touch it, search it every day. We binge on it day in, day out and even while we are so drunk with it presence and we end our time together in a hangover, we still want it. We want all of it again, slowly making us dwindle into a slow epitome. 

Those that do end up in Media rehab wonder how they got there. What did this to them? It was the thing they thought could bring them happiness. The thing they thought could give them joy and make them a better version of themselves. Once they get back to the real world they see what it has done to them and those that they love. It will never leave them, but then they go back to their old ways because one taste isn’t that bad right? We slowly lose ourselves to it and we can’t stop. Soon we die because we keep doing this to ourselves and we never make it back to rehab. Only it’s the worst thing! It makes you remember why you fell in love with it in the first place. And it slowly begins to consume you again and you can never hope to let it leave. 

You chose to not go back to rehab. You choose to let it run you, you become okay with it, and then one day it chooses to take the life that you thought it nurtured so well carefully and kindly. Only it sucked your soul out. It kills many and takes them to a place they never thought they could go. But guess what? They went there and there is no one left to save them anymore.*

* IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION: Her point here is that the deeper we get into sin, the harder it is to turn around, and if we don't ever rely or haven't ever relied on Christ to cover and save us from those sins, then there truly is no one left to save us in terms of eternity - especially not ourselves!
JESUS is ALWAYS willing to save those who turn to Him! From a practical standpoint, too, filling your mind with muck can be devastating to our spiritual health - not our salvation, because belief in Christ takes care of that! But shifting our focus from God to grime can have a very negative impact on our earthly lives.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast..." Ephesians 2:8-9

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