Ever hear (or use?) the phrase "I don't listen to the words, just the music" when defending listening to music with less than admirable lyrics? It's a proven fact that what we watch, hear, and do really does affect us. The Scriptures even encourage us to guard our hearts and minds in Philippians 4:7-9 -- "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
I realize, to a degree, some people's minds and hearts are more impressionable than others. But take a moment to realize how much your friends affect your decision-making, your entertainment, even your humor. We pass around catch-phrases, word choice, favorite movies and music. We like to share our interests and personalities with others, but that does affect us, and more deeply than we like to acknowledge.
The thing that hit me with this subject was actually something that happened today. I was working at my desk, deeply involved in the task at hand, with my iTunes music library on shuffle playing as background music. I got the hunger itch and reasoned that it was a good time to get some coffee from the kitchen as well and I instinctively paused my iTunes and went downstairs. The entire time I brewed my coffee and readied a toasted bagel, the song "I Have Nothing" by Plumb repeated over and over in my head. I love Plumb and think her music's great, so that's not the issue... but when I went upstairs to my desk, sat down, and went to press play on my iTunes, I saw that the song was only THREE SECONDS into it. Somehow three seconds of a song was enough to trigger it for repeat play in my mind? It's kind of a scary thought... how much what we ingest really affects us - good AND bad.
So just a little food for thought for you guys. I know I myself still need to be more selective about how much time I spend absorbing entertainment versus time learning about and getting to know God. If you're struggling with that too a bit, try starting up a personal Bible study that goes through a book a little bit each day. A Bible study I attend just recently went through John Piper's "Don't Waste Your Life." Fantastic book and study. So check that out if you need a suggestion to help you to dig a little deeper.
Love you guys! -- John