“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” ~ 1 John 2:15-17
I have been thinking about the way all of the different forms of “the world” — ie internet, movies, music, tv, etc, infiltrate my heart and permeate my soul. Recently, I have noticed that my language is less than wholesome and that I have been desensitized to certain things that should be offensive to me. Today, I re-discovered an e-book from Sovereign Grace Ministries, called “Half A Poison Pill Won’t Kill Me: Thoughts on Worldliness and the Media that Promotes It.” It is a helpful little book that is encouraging, challenging and thought provoking. Joshua Harris talks about media and our culture this way; “Media rarely if ever attempts to reason with us and convince us to love the world. Instead it stirs up feelings and emotions that bypass our minds and grip our affections. The incredibly wicked power of media is that it can make something evil look good or exciting. It can make sin seem harmless and enjoyable. It can sway our hearts to think that we deserve that we crave, that what we see is all that matters.”
So, the question then is not “How much can I have without it affecting me,” but “Is this worthy? Is it honorable?” Here is how it’s put in this little book, “Trying to figure out how much sinful content from media you can handle and still be ‘okay’ is like a person who takes half a poison pill every day because ‘only half’ won’t kill you. When it comes to what we watch or read or listen to we shouldn’t ask how many halves of poison pills we can take. We need to examine the cumulative effect of our media habits on our attitude toward God and sin and the world.”
Here are some helpful questions from “Half a Poison Pill…”
1) Cravings of sinful man: Are my media habits encouraging me to want my own way? Is what I’m watching, reading or listening to whispering the lie that these desires are natural, good, harmless when God’s word says they will destroy my soul?
2) Lust of the eyes: Are my media habits stirring up a covetous desire for more of what this world offers? Is it making me want everything for myself — a beautiful companion, a beautiful home, a beautiful car? Is it leading me to feast my eyes on unlawful sights for the sake of sinful pleasure? Is it causing me to be captivated by the outward and visible with no regard to goodness and virtue?
3) Boasting of what he has and does: Are my media habits encouraging me to exalt myself because of material possessions, fame or athletic achievement? Does it make me want to appear important according to the world’s standards of importance?
This is an excellent resource that I highly recommend. You can find it here and download it for free.