Recently I was reading a publisher's blog, and he made the statement that unlike all the other forms of media, books can be life-changing. He commented that you never hear someone say "that movie (or TV show, CD, blog or twitter post, etc.) changed my life!" But you frequently hear people say, "that book changed my life!"
I heartily agree that books can change lives. I could list several books that had a life-changing impact on me. However, I think that all the other forms of media also change our lives, just not in the same way. Media like TV, music, & internet may not affect us immediately with a big punch, but they do have a very powerful cumulative effect.
How many movies have you watched in your lifetime? 217? 356? 1074?
We may not realize it, but all those movies (and songs, magazines, internet sites, etc.) , are communicating and reinforcing subtle messages. Depending on how careful we are about what we watch, read & listen to, we may be taking in all kinds of wrong thoughts - things like,
- when you find the "right" person, you'll be completely fulfilled and happy
- dishonesty and immorality are ok
- violence is justified
- disobedience and rebellion have no consequences
etc, etc, etc.
So while, reading one very good book can have a positive impact on our lives, often the cumulative effect of everything else we take in has a very negative impact on us, and we don't even realize it.
Jesus said, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45)
Whatever we watch, read, or listen to becomes part of us, ultimately changing our thinking, our character and our actions. We don't see ourselves as evil, but if we keep 'storing up' evil things in our hearts, eventually they will overflow out of us.
I think it was Beth Moore who said that purity = power; no purity = no power.
God takes purity seriously, and purity starts with what comes in, not what goes out.
Lately the Lord has been continually pounding away on this theme of purity in my life. I wish I could go back 10 years and erase many of the things I allowed into my mind and heart. Instead, I'm asking God for strength to resist impure media and grace to 'store up' in my heart all the GOOD things He wants to fill me with.
So, by all means, let's keep reading those good, powerful, impacting books. But let's also resist the cumulative effect of stubtle, deceptive, worldly media.
I long to see God raise up a generation of Christians whose lives are Powerful in impact because of their pursuit of Purity.
Lord, let it begin with me.
"And this is my prayer: that...you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."