“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:2
We all know how the saying goes. “You are what you eat.” Anyone who has ever tried to get into shape knows the truth of this statement. What you eat has an effect on your body; it becomes a part of you. The smallest fluctuations in diet affect your overall performance. Certain foods and supplements can boost your performance, and some can hinder or even harm you. The same is true of the media you consume. What you eat with your eyes and ears has an effect on your life.
To say, “I don’t listen to the lyrics, I just really like the beat,” is like eating a donut and saying, “this isn’t actually going into my body and being absorbed through my bloodstream, I just really like the taste.” The same is true of ALL media. Movies, TV shows, Books, Magazines, Radio, Video Games, Social Media, News Outlets… basically the internet. Anything consumed or “eaten” through eyes and ears has an effect on a life. Positive or negative, good or bad, whether you like it or not… It’s either drawing you into closer relationship with Jesus, or driving a wedge between you.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life… Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.’” –John 6:48, 56-57
We are receptacles; containers that receive or hold something. What goes into the mind, goes into the heart, and comes out in a life. Just by walking through this world there are profaned images and sounds that bombard my mind outside of my control. Why would I ever choose to feed on these things in my entertainment?
Music and media become a part of our being in a way that exists more than just in the moment we consume them. Whether you like it or not, a song will remind you of a time in your life. A video clip will transport you right back into that place, like you are reliving the experience. Just like food turns into fuel or fat, music and media either fuel us in Christ, or fatten us poisoning our spiritual fitness.
If I try to go for a run after eating a box of donuts, I physically can’t. I would become ill and have adverse reactions. The same goes for trying to step out into the world and reach the lost after eating junk music, TV shows, and media. I can’t, and there are adverse reactions in my trying to do so. If I am not filled with the Holy Spirit, Light, and Truth then the darkness does overtake me; because I am operating out of my flesh instead of the Spirit. If I am not feeding on Jesus, I am not filled with His Spirit. Which in turn means I am feeding on something else, and am filled with that spirit.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” –Matthew 6:22-23
Sin creeps in and the fat creeps on. Someone who wakes up 100lbs over weight didn’t go to bed weighing 150lbs the night before. You don’t immediately notice the effects of a bag of Cheetos every night, but you see them over time. Same with what you watch and listen to. Are you spiritually eating a bag of potato chips every night by watching that mediocre TV show that only sometimes mocks God and always glorifies the world? Has your palate changed over time and you now crave the comedy of the crass and crude?
Your appetite and cravings for certain foods increase the more often you eat them. If that is true of our physical bodies, how much more so of our spiritual? The more I taste and see that Jesus really is good, the more I want of Him, and the less I want of this world. The flesh has to be put to death. Often that death is through starvation. Are you starving your sin nature or starving your spiritual man?
We are force-fed mental garbage that deteriorates our souls just by existing in today’s world. My question to you is, what are you eating? Are you aiding and abetting the assault on your life by infiltrating your mind with music and media that are destroying the renewal of your mind? Or are you feeding on Jesus? Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good? If you have tasted Him, has your appetite for Jesus increased? Or are you suppressing it by stuffing yourself with worldly junk food—too full for healthy spiritual food? Is it a mixture, thus leaving your spiritual body in perpetual stagnancy; not getting fitter, but not getting fatter?
“’My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’” –John 4:34
Feed on Jesus.