There is an apple on top of a pile of books. That apple would not be where it is if the books were not supporting it. However, the apple probably does not realize that fact.
We all go through life with messages thrown at us. We slowly grab random messages, apply them to our lives, and move on. Unknown to many of us, more messages are affecting our lives than we realize, just like those books are affecting where the apple is.
Proverbs 4:23-27 says, "Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep you foot from evil." What we let into our mind (or our heart) effects our mouth, our eyes, our decisions, and our path in life.
These messages which could control us come from many different sources: Facebook, video games, movies, TV shows, YouTube, Twitter, news stations, friends, etc. None of these sources are bad. In fact, a lot of good can come from each of these sources. However, each of these sources are created and maintained by broken humans. Consequently, a lot of bad can come from these sources. Many times, these movies, games, shows, etc, have messages that are not blatant. They are "undercover." If we are not careful, we will let those messages influence us without realizing it.
Every source of information, no matter how entertaining, conveys messages which could either take us closer to God or farther from Him. Even if a movie is "Christian", it could be dangerous. Even if a movie is "secular", it could be safe. Therefore, each message, no matter the source, should be filtered in light of the Gospel.
So, how do we filter the messages that are thrown at us?
First, we need to understand what the message is. Everything has messages. Many of them are subliminal. We need to be able to listen to a song, or watch a movie, or see a clip of a video game and be able to say what the message of the author is. Nothing is truly entertainment. Everything has a message.
Second, we need to evaluate the message with our worldview. We look at the world in a different way, because we are followers of Christ. We have the Bible and the Gospel as our standard. The world has Satan and his message as its standard. So, once we understand the message given to us, we can ask: Is it true? Is it consistent with the Gospel? and Is it consistent with the life of love Christ has called us to live?
If the message is true, consistent with the Gospel, and consistent with Christ, we can accept it and use it for our maturity and encouragement. If the message is not, we must disregard it and caution those in our sphere of influence against that message.
If we go through these steps, we will guard our minds and hearts from evil. If we do not go through these steps, many messages that are thrown at us will influence our minds and hearts in a negative way, often subconsciously. We should take care to weigh everything we listen to, watch, or read. Messages are thrown at us everyday. Be aware and filter.
Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Neligh, NE. Missionary with RHMA. Husband to Maggie. Father to Grace, David, and Daniel. Saved by Jesus Christ