Mind Over Media – Rev. Scott Graham

Mind Over Media

We are in a conflict for our spiritual wellbeing as well as that of our families. And while Satan is not some red flannel-wearing imp with a pitchfork and a long tail, there most certainly is a devil, and he is much more than a Halloween costume or a little guy that rests on your shoulder and attempts to persuade you to ignore the angel on the other one. Satan is a spiritual being.
Paul told the Ephesians that
“. . . we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). And our spiritual foe’s purpose is quite clear. He comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy!
While he is anything but omnipotent, we would disregard this spiritual deceiver at our own peril! No, he does not have the power or the authority to make anyone walk away from God. Still, he is an experienced and wily foe, who has deceived and corrupted mankind from the beginning of time, so it behooves us to know our enemy! “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (II Corinthians 2:11).
I’m not suggesting that a college course in demonology is needful to make you a better Father or man of God. I am recommending to you the wisdom of the Scriptures that we should be aware of His tactics and carefully avoid his traps! “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). That word “place” literally means a “toehold.” We are instructed not to give the devil any place where he can get the slightest grip in our lives. Just such an area which we must guard is the media!
The Media is a powerful influence in our world and in our
lives. The media is defined as “the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely.” There are two words in that definition that make this so important for our walk with God and our work for Him . . . “reach” and “influence.”
For clearly the media reaches us. It does so in the most ubiquitous fashion. It’s everywhere. Print media is waning in our culture, but only because electronic media is all around us. We are surrounded and bombarded by cell phone and iPads and smart phones and news readers. We cannot readily escape the long arms of the world of media!
It chases us with invisible signals through the air at all times of the day and night. And while I know that this was not Paul’s meaning, still there is this “power in the air,” and we war against the prince of the power of the air!
The media’s reach is significant because it also influences! The media can shift our thinking. It can affect our emotions. It can skew our worldview. Don’t for one second believe that you are not affected by media. If it could not affect you, then corporations would not spend billions and billions of dollars in advertising!
And it specifically because there is an influence of the media that reaches us that some questions need to be asked as filters for our media interaction.
M – Message:
What is the message that is being delivered and and how is it coming across? Is this in harmony with God’s word? Is this contrary to any Bible principles? Is this God honoring and edifying to my relationship with Him?
E – Effect:
What effect does this have on me? How does this impact my emotions? Does this distract me from my walk with God? Is this media habit adversely affecting me physically, emotionally, socially, relationally, or spiritually?

D – Damage:
Will I suffer damage from this? Is this undermining my marriage? Is it adversely affecting my ministry? Is this creating fantasies or wrong thinking? Is it producing unhealthy questions in my mind?
I – Instead:
What could I be doing instead? Is this undermining my productivity for God? Is this advantageous to my goals for today, for this year, and for my life?
A – Ask God:
Does this glorify God? Is He pleased with this? Could He participate in this? Would I be embarrassed to look up and see Him watching me engage in this media outlet?
The media has nearly unlimited potential for either good or bad. So as His children, we must remain committed to safeguarding the purity of our minds and spirits from such a potentially destructive force.
Maintaining discipline in this area of life is a necessity, for only through a pure vessel can He most effectively minister to our families and those GOd places in our care.
We can, and indeed must, have a mind victorious over the media!
Rev. Scott Graham

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