Have you stopped to consider what we as humans allow into our bodies? Think about it, processed food, high in fat and sodium, candy, chips, all manner of junk food. If you ever wondered how much waste is in a particular food, simply head on over to Calorie King to find out. Not only will you find out what is in the food, you can also see how long it will take with a particular exercise to eliminate those calories. In order to burn off one sugared or glazed chocolate cake-type donut, one would need to choose from the following:
After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. 11 It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” 12 Then the disciples *came and *said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
Jesus answers a previous accusation from the Pharisees, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” Unclean hands before eating was a act thought to defile a practicing Jew.
Jesus responds first by calling out the Pharisees on various other offenses. Then He turns to their question and explicitly states that it is not what you put into your mouth, that defiles a person but what comes out of the mouth. Jesus then goes on to provide a more detailed answer explaining why it is what comes out of us that defiles.
15 Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17 Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”
In His explanation Jesus presupposes the natural corruption of the heart because of sin. We find much support for this in scripture.
Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
Our heart is desperately wicked and although “follow your heart” is the spirit of the age; Jesus reminds us that following our heart will only lead to evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication or sexual immorality, theft, lying, slandering and much more. Jesus Christ is the only one who can change our hearts.
God says in Ezekiel 11:19-20
19 “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.”
When God changes our heart, we will still struggle with sin. One of my professors once said, “in the heart of a lost person, sin reigns, but in the heart of a saved person sin remains!” How true is that. What does this have to do with media intake? Well, quite frankly, everything! The external is an overflow of the heart. It is already desperately wicked and so it follows that whatever we continue to fill it with will overflow into our lives. We are driven by our heart and there is no way around that. When we consume media that displays and encourages sin, we exercise our heart in the wrong direction. For example, if your heart struggles with lust, it should follow that consuming media which glorifies sexual promiscuity is a willful plunge into temptation that is almost certain to manifest into sin.
This is not to say that one cannot engage in any type of media outside the rated G title; however, it is important to know how visual content affects us. While “each man should be convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5) may I submit to you that we should not be “conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Romans 12:2). Renewing our mind should include daily devotions, prayer, and study; while not excluding media it is important to keep clear of things that turn our heart and mind to temptation.
We see God specifically tell the nation of Israel to do the same. In various places in the Old Testament God continually warns Israel that they must not engage in the activities of the people around them; for they practice detestable things. These ranged from taking advantage of others to child sacrifice. Once Israel entertained the idea (temptation) it always manifested into sin.
I would say that families that include kids should be even more careful about what type of media they consume. Children constantly learn what to do, how to act, what to say and watch directly from their parents example. As parents, we should heed God’s command in Deuteronomy 11:18-20
18 “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 19 You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,
If we continually allow for dark things to come into our home, we should not be surprised when it affects our families. We must also consider the amount of time that children spend in the world; taught and guided by principles and morals that, in most cases go against the word of God. The home should be a place of peace, a sanctuary where they can feel safe.
Our home should be a place of light and not darkness. Hollywood spends millions of dollars peddling trash into the homes across the nation and world for one reason; they have understood all too well the old adage: “the eyes are the window to the soul.” While scripture itself does not directly make this claim it does say that the “eyes are the lamp to the body;” which could suggest the same. If our eyes are the lamp unto our body, this suggests that they feed our body light; however, if all they consume is darkness, well than the body is can no longer see. Let’s consider Psalm 1.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
This Psalm compares the righteous with the wicked; however, the first two verses are what we should consider. Here a man is considered blessed (or happy) who does not walk, nor stand, nor sit in the counsel of wicked people. Consider the downward depression. First the man is walking with the wicked, then he is idly standing with sinners, and finally sitting with scoffers. Bottom line if a person continues to do things that bear darkness rather than light they to shall eventually take a seat with scoffers, sinners, and wicked people. This is not to say we should avoid the lost, rather the contrary as we are called to evangelize the lost; however, what it does mean is one who continues in the darkness will eventually become an idle patron in the seat at the table of darkness.
If Jesus says our heart is full of evil and Jeremiah says it is desperately wicked, we begin with a heart of darkness. We should seek out the light and fill our heart and mind with such. When it comes to media consumption we use two different sites to check the movies/show/games we allow in our home. One is secular based and one is Christian based. If we find a movie that is questionable we will preview it first before allowing our children to watch it.
Site one is Common Sense Media, and is the secular site. It has reviews of movies, books, games, and television shows. It is very comprehensive and explanatory in the reviews which are provided by both adults and children.
Site two is Plugged In is Christian based and provides reviews of movies, books, games, music and more.
It is vitally important to guard our eyes as they are the lamp unto our body. The darker it is, the more we stumble. God continually warned Israel about this and warns us all the same. Christ is the light of the world and men hate the light for they do evil deeds in the dark and the light exposes their wickedness. I must reiterate that what one consumes ultimately comes down to Romans 14 where “everyone must be convinced in his own mind” but may I submit to you, the eyes when filled with darkness see no light.