Influences and Distractions

27 01 2010

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”

~Philippians 4:8

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

~Ephesians 5:15-16

Recently, I was reading an article in the USA Today passed on to me by Andrew Lyle.  The title read “Kid’s electronic media use jumps to 53 hours a week”.  As I read this astonishing article I was floored!  The article surveyed 2,002 kids ages 8 to 18 and found that kids spend an AVERAGE of 53 hours a week on electronic media of some sort including TV, Music, Computer, Cell phones and Video Games.  The study found that an average kid in America today will spend 10 hours and 45 minutes, 7 hours and 38 minutes when we consider multi-tasking, a day on some sort of media resource.  That’s more hours than most full-time employees spend at their jobs!  That’s more time than they spend at school or sleeping!  The availability of these media resources has jumped drastically in the last couple decades to the extent that one researcher said “iPods and cellphones may be this generation’s magazines and chewing gum, harmless ways to fill time.”  The problem is that I don’t think 53 hours spent on anything materially, especially today’s media, is “harmless.”

Paul was writing to the church at Philippi on joy and Christian virtues when he stated, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS!”  This statement drives a dagger in the heart of students who think they can spend ALL of their time consumed with the negative images, sinful lyrics, and the trash in media today.  Further, for those who tell me, “Well Spencer, I don’t watch or listen to bad things” Paul says in Ephesians 5 to make “the best use of the time” and you will not get me to believe that Facebook or Garth Brooks for 10 hours a day is “the best use of the time” and I know God doesn’t buy that lie either.

This afternoon, I was driving two 91 year olds to a doctor’s appointment and we were talking about how much Athens has changed in their 91 years here.  Talking about change in Athens lead us to talk about how different people are and how untrustworthy and integrity deficient today’s society is compared to their childhood.  Dr. Reed, an incredible 91-year-old man of God, leaned over to me and asked me why things are so different today.  I paused a second and could only attribute the morph in character over the years to the media.  We become what we spend the most time watching, absorbing, and thinking about and with kids spending the bulk of their time absorbing a morally deficient media source it is no wonder our society is becoming more and more immoral and walking farther and farther from God.  Kids certainly spend more time absorbing media than they do with their families, being active with friends, or with God.  It should not surprise us that our society has followed that trend.  My challenge (adults included): get out from in front of the TV, turn off the cellphone, take the headphones out of your ears and make family, friend, and our God more important.  Time with people will always benefit you, others, and the furthering of the Gospel over time on the internet.

The BottomLine is this:  Anything that distracts us from God will keep us from growing in our relationship with God so by spending limitless amounts of time on things that don’t bring God glory we are driving a wedge between us and our Lord and Savior.

Conquered <><

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