The trap I see for most young people is that they are extremely disconnected with the importance of what they meditate. They have no idea that what inside of you forms the world outside of you. What you see and hear is what will start to shape your thinking and your behavior, whether you believe it or not. Secular media is consumed in such large quantities weekly, and the Word of God (and Christ-centered media) is limited to just a few minutes a day.
Meditation is a God given process that will cause a permanent change in your thinking. But the devil knows this too, so he uses the same concept to get you to adopt the principles of the Kingdom of Darkness…lying, stealing, cussing, alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual immorality, rebellion, pride, and reckless behavior. Sometimes you don't even know that you have adopted these behaviors until the results show up in your life. How do they show up in your life? Through your decisions.
The Bible says in Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (NKJV)” I want to make you aware that this was the only time in the whole bible where the word “success” was used. Notice, it was coupled with meditating the Word of God all the time. What ever you meditate will start to dominate your thoughts, decisions, conversation, and actions.
Meditating certain kinds of music and media will help you reproduce the same message that the media is giving you. If you like to watch a lot of scary movies that make you feel fear, you will start to see fear show up in your life. But it may not be fear of some serial killer, it may be fear of stepping out to achieve your dreams. The Enemy uses his message of fear to paralyze your progress. It takes courage to fulfill your dreams, and fear exterminates courage. Amazingly, I saw a study done one time on the Chicago area (and suburbs) showing a distinct correlation with the poverty stricken areas of the city consuming high amounts of fear-based movies. The most affluent areas had the lowest consumption of fear-based movies. Notice, fear is designed to keep a person from success. (source: Crain's Chicago Business)
One night after youth service a mother came up to me with her daughter because the girl that kept getting tempted to kill her little brother whom she loved dearly. No arguments, no angry tantrums, just random malicious thoughts. After some conversation, we finally found the problem. She loved scary movies, usually with lots of murder in them, and would play them while she slept. Once she cut that off...the thoughts ceased. Interesting right?
God designed us as intricate beings, having the ability to reproduce the message that we see and hear the most. Our subconscious does this without us even realizing it. Think of the subconscious mind as the storage room of everything that is currently not in your conscious mind. It is like an autopilot feature for humans. Blinking is a great example of the subconscious mind dictating your actions. The subconscious mind stores all of your previous life experiences, beliefs, memories, skills, and all images you've ever seen. Now you ask, what beliefs and images are the ones I act out? It's the ones that have been stored into you with the most frequency.
The messages that are put on TV are sometimes more than just entertainment…they are manipulation. It’s called tel-a-vision “programming” for a reason. They are telling you their vision, and programming you for an appropriate response. Watching TV shows where homosexual and transgender lifestyles are promoted...can lead to gender confusion and homosexual curiosity/temptation.
Listening to too much news or negative people...can lead to a negative attitude and pessimistic outlook on life. Possibly even leading to thoughts of depression. If you’ve been watching reality shows, in which rebellion, bad attitudes and reckless living are glorified... you could adopt those same traits.
The most common initial reaction I get from youth is "Come on...it's not that serious." I'm not saying all secular media is evil. What I am saying is that you need to be careful what you watch and hear. Look at your favorite shows, movies, music, books, etc. and ask yourself, do I want to act like that? Do I want to reproduce that behavior in my life?
Here’s the conclusion that I have come to: Listening to garbage music will make you have garbage thoughts. Garbage thoughts lead to garbage emotions, actions & habits. Simple cause and effect. As the saying goes, when you know better you can do better. The way you can use media to have a positive effect on your life is to consume media and written materials that are positive, uplifting, encouraging, or Christ-centered. There are plenty of alternatives to the “junk food media” that is so frequently promoted. Sticking with the Word of God, and meditating it more than everything else, will ensure that you find success and the abundant life that Jesus has promised you!
In conclusion, I want to leave you with a challenge. I challenge you to go on a 30-day media switch (music, movies, television, magazines, books, etc.). Pay close attention to the words, images, and messages that are being portrayed through the different avenues of media. If you don’t want to closely reproduce everything that is being said or done, eliminate it from your media intake for the next 30 days. Choose to replace the restricted media with something positive, uplifting, and encouraging. If you need some dope Christ-centered music and uplifting messages, we have some great stuff listed on GoHardforChrist.com/free-music. I promise that if you do this challenge whole-heartedly, you will see amazing results!