A few weeks ago I was listening to a pastor who made an excellent point. It really, really stuck with me, and caused me to examine my own life. I don’t remember his exact words, so I can’t quote him, however, I will share his overall point.
He basically stated that many Christians in America are more disciples of their favorite news channel than they are of Christ.
We often look and sound more like CNN, FOXNews or our Facebook newsfeed than we do Jesus.
Why? Because we ingest more from these earthly sources than we do from God Himself. Which directly affects our lives.
Do we find ourselves promoting and defending some news report that has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God? Are we more passionate about the latest drama that our favorite media outlet is touting than we are the Gospel? Do we find ourselves thinking more about temporary things than we do eternal things?
This can’t be.
What we take in directly affects our presuppositions on life, our opinions on politics and our philosophies on cultural hot topics. And as Christians, disciples of Christ, those things must be determined not by the wisdom of the age but by Jesus Himself.
Part of being a disciple of Jesus is me submitting my thoughts and opinions to Him and His will.
Paul said it this way:
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Because of this we must guard ourselves as to what we allow in our hearts/minds as that will affect our mindsets and responses. That means we must be careful that the “prophets of the age” (aka CNN, FOXNews, newsfeed on Facebook, our favorite blogger, etc) do not speak louder in our ears than the words of Scripture.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that the more we listen to something or someone, the more we will become like them.
For example, I’ve recently discovered that I do things that my wife has always done, yet I used to never do them. After 12 years of marriage, you start to rub off on each other.
And it’s no different than what we listen to, or read, or participate in.
The more we partake of something/someone, the more we become like that thing/person.
So if all we are spiritually and emotionally consuming is politically-charged rants, based on a particular bias, we are allowing ourselves to be discipled by those things. If all we are taking in are opinions of man, we are being discipled by those people. And before we know it, we become more dedicated to the philosophies of man than we are the truths of the Kingdom. We then have a problem.
The psalmist encourages us with these words:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” – Psalm 1:1-2
People will come and go. Opinions will come and go. But the Word of God will not.
The best thing we can do for ourselves and for the Kingdom is not submit our minds and hearts to what this world has to offer. If we want to be disciples of Christ, then we must partake more from Him than we do the talking heads on the TV or the Internet.
How much time do we find ourselves reading Scripture versus perusing the newsfeed on Facebook? How much time do we find ourselves meditating on Scripture than we do concerning ourselves with the current news stories on TV? How much time do we find ourselves conversing or arguing with others over current world events instead of praying and asking the Father to intervene?
The above are serious questions to consider. And the new year is a perfect time to do it.
I’m guilty as charged in all of these areas.
Paul tells us to “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” – Colossians 3:2
His words were not a suggestion, but rather, a command.
How can we obey what Paul says to do if all we’re doing is filling our minds with opinions and philosophies from this earth?
If we’re going to be obedient, then something has got to change.
I personally am going to take a break from all media and social media for the month of January. And I’d encourage you to consider doing something similar as well.
Take the extra time and mediate on Scripture. Take the time you’d normally scan the newsfeed and pray.
Because remember, the more time we spend with someone/something, the more we become like that person/thing.
Who are you a disciple of?