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September 16

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. — Romans 12:1-2

Our Minds and Our Media

by Chris Rowell

When I was a kid, my family used to love watching a show called “Dirty Jobs.” The host would showcase jobs that were crude, gross, difficult and just plain dirty! He did everything from working on fishing boats to farming cows and to cleaning septic tanks. His aim was to give people an appreciation for the difficult and dirty work it takes to make normal “clean” life possible for the rest of us. Eventually we found that the gross things in the show hardly phased us. We enjoyed this show so much we would even watch it while eating lunch.

Romans 12:1-2 talks about presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice and being transformed by the renewing of our minds. My family had watched a TV show that was incredibly gross, but we had grown so used to it that we weren’t grossed out by the things this host would do. While that is a light-hearted example, you really don’t have to think long to come up with something on media that is seriously dishonoring both to God and to our minds and bodies.

We live in a digital age that presents us with more information on a minute-by-minute basis than our ancestors had access to in days and weeks. We are bombarded with ads, entertainment and other information on the internet, television, social media, movies, books, magazines and more. It is so easy to be swept up in what the world is constantly trying to tell us to care about. It is also easy to grow desensitized to the sinful things the world exhibits to us. But God calls us to “not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of [our minds].”

I have found I am very susceptible to the things I watch. When I watch a show with a funny lead character, I tend to act like that character. When the news I watch ignores or devalues the viewpoints of another, I tend to become biased. When I watch a gory movie, I tend to get desensitized to the violence. When I listen to a podcast glorifying sexual immorality, I tend to numb myself to the sinful situations the show portrays.

Our minds were designed in such a wonderful way to reflect that which we give our time to the most. And when the media we consume is dishonoring to God, we will begin to think in ways that dishonor God. We are not islands, and we don’t live in bubbles. For this reason, we must be mindful to give our full attention first to God.

Praxis

  1. What are some things you watch, listen to and read that aren’t always glorifying to the Lord? Take some time away from these things to dedicate to the Lord, spending time with Him in the Word, prayer and worship.
  2. If you aren’t sure, what are some ways you can learn to evaluate the things you consume? Pray for the Lord to reveal the things in your life the put a wall between you and Him.
  3. Spend some time in prayer meditating on what it means to present yourself as a living sacrifice to God.
September
16