I am currently reading Jentezen Franklin’s book entitled, “The Spirit of Python: Exposing Satan’s Plan to Squeeze the Life Out of You”. In it, the author paints a vivid picture of the way Satan slowly, almost imperceptibly, squeezes the spiritual breath out of us. What we perceive as harmless distractions actually can have a major impact on our lives. What we see and hear affects what we think about, and what we think about directly correlates to how we live. It’s so easy to go throughout our day without giving a second thought to what we are allowing to shape our thinking, and ultimately our destiny.
According to Nielsen Research, the average American spends 34 hours each week watching television and an additional 5 hours surfing the web. That’s Forty hours each week we bathe ourselves in the glow of screens that rarely present positive, God-honoring images for our minds to consume. It’s easy to say that what we watch doesn’t affect who we are, but the research says otherwise. We become that with which we surround ourselves. Unless we monitor what flows into our minds, we will face a constant struggle to live a life of obedience to Christ.
Beyond television and the internet, our eyes are bombarded by advertising in magazines, on billboards, and in store displays that reek of sexuality. Our culture as a whole promotes promiscuity, low morals, and an attitude of seeking pleasure and entertainment above all else. It is impossible to avoid, and this is exactly how Satan planned it. If he can saturate what we see with things that please our eyes but disappoint our Savior, he knows he can keep us walking in defeat.
I’m a huge music fan, and there are few moments of my day when I don’t have something playing in the background. I’m sure my affinity for heavy music grew out of the rebellion of my youth, when churches I attended demonized even Christian bands that played rock music. I can attest from experience that when I am discouraged and down, the worst thing I can do is listen to music with suggestive or violent lyrics. It’s like pouring gasoline on fire. When I’m at a spiritual low, one of the best things I can do is to listen to nothing but uplifting music for a few days in a row. Just like what we see shapes our attitudes, so does that to which we listen.
The takeaway here is not to throw out your television or burn your music collection. Rather it is to become aware of what we are allowing into our minds. We can’t escape what culture inflicts on us, but we can limit what we willingly add to it. What are you watching? To what are you listening? What are you reading? These can be very convicting questions, but they are questions we need to ask ourselves on a very regular basis. What are you allowing into your mind? It could very well be what’s choking the very life out of you.