Pastor's Corner

13 Jul
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Mid-Week Challenge

There is no question that we are living in one of the angriest and revenge filled times in American history.  Just this week there was a road rage shooting on I840 that resulted in two men going to the hospital and the shooter still at large. What could cause such behavior? I have often accredited the media we subject ourselves to have a larger effect on our behavior than we realize.  Dr. David Jeremiah has an interesting take on this based on the time the average American spends consuming media.

Here’s a summary fact: Depending on which research study you read, the average American adult (age 18 and older) spends more than half of each day consuming media—both traditional (TV, radio, print) and digital (websites, streaming, movies, music, and other Internet-delivered sources like tweets, podcasts, and the like). One study says the number is 13.61 hours.

Let’s break that 13.61 hours-per-day number down. Let’s say we sleep 7 hours per night (fasting from media), that leaves 17 waking hours in the day. Out of those 17 hours, the average American adult spends 13.61 of those waking hours consuming media of some sort. That leaves 3.39 hours per day when we are NOT consuming media. That’s less than half of the 8 hours we spend at work. Think of how many workplaces and retail establishments today have some sort of media playing—usually music, radio, or television. So even while we work or shop, we’re taking in—consciously or subconsciously—whatever the media is dishing out.

Here’s the most sobering part of our daily media consumption: Social media platforms account for the largest share of media consumption. Consider the two largest of those platforms: Facebook and Instagram. In America, users of Facebook spend 58 minutes per day (325 hours per year) on the platform, while users of Instagram spend 53 minutes per day (297 hours per year) viewing its content. And the people and organizations we follow on these platforms influence us more than we might realize.

It’s not a question of being addicted to social or traditional media. It’s a matter of absorbing it all day long without being consciously aware of what we are choosing to receive—and taking steps to retain the good and filter out the bad.

Here is the issue: We are influenced by every form of media we consume—in one way or another. We can be influenced for good by consuming good and godly media. And we can be influenced in other ways by consuming other kinds of media. It’s the old “Garbage In, Garbage Out” thought.  I’m not saying that all media is bad, but we reflect what we subject ourselves too, consciously or not.  So, the question is this: What kind of media are we taking in every day? How deliberate are we being with the media we consume? And most importantly, how is the media we consume influencing our life on a daily basis? Maybe we need to take an inventory of what we are subjecting our minds to.   If those media and influences drive us in the direction of Christlikeness and fidelity to the Word of God, keep them coming! But if they create unsettled emotions, thoughts contrary to Scripture, and especially words and behaviors not glorifying to God, then it may be time to pull the plug.  

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan


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