"We are so conformist; nobody is thinking. We are all sucking up stuff; we have been trained to be consumers, and we are all consuming far too much." Vivienne Westwood
PRAY: Lord, this morning I am going to focus on the Christians around the globe who are consuming our world's entertainment. I ask that You will not let them, or me, conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then we will be able to test and approve what Your will is for our lives, and not be influenced and changed by the media or entertainment to which we watch and listen. We want to enjoy the entertainment that is offered to us, but to not let it influence Your good, pleasing, and perfect will for us. We need discernment to know what to watch and listen to, compassion for the people creating it, and great communication skills to help our children and others understand what's good and pleasing, what's not worthy of spending time watching or listening to, and why. But we need to do it with gentleness and wisdom. Help us to process our entertainment so that we can enjoy it but not be conformed by it. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
REFLECT: Reflect on how the hours you spend watching or listening to entertainment impacts you as a person. Do you talk about, think about, and process what you are consuming as much as you talk about, think about, and embrace what you read and listen to at church, in your quiet times, or in conversations with your Christian friends? Most people spend more time consuming media and entertainment than they spend time with their families and God put together. So, what impact is that having on your heart and brain? It's not bad to watch and listen to films, TV shows, music, or video games. It's just a matter of how you evaluate and process that time and those stories. You have to understand what you like about them and how they influences you. Entertainment is neither all good nor all bad. It's what you do with it that makes you not be conformed by it, but informed by it. Ask God to show you how you need to rethink the entertainment that you consume and how to challenge others around you to do the same.
ACT: What is the TV show, film, or music that has most influenced you? Do you know why? Is it entertainment that positively impacts you? Is it just fun? Or is it actually destructive to your character? Evaluate what's good and bad about it and then tell someone close to you what you've discovered. Practice talking about the entertainment that you watch and listen to, so that you become more discerning and aware. You don't want it to conform you to the ways of the world, but have it inform you so you can better evaluate God's perfect will for your life. If it's not supporting God's principals, that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. It just means that you need to understand what you like about it, how it's impacting you, and if you're doing it for too long without processing the information that's going into your heart and mind. Ask the tough questions about your entertainment consumption, tell someone else what you're thinking, and choose to start a new pattern of processing, evaluating, understanding, and talking out all of the hours of entertainment that you are choosing to invite in!
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