In today’s culture, at least in America, so much information is being thrown at people regardless of their age or gender. This information includes clothing, make up, medicine, money, politics, public mistakes or mishaps, so on and so forth. And it’s not limited to information like this. It’s other material like songs, television, magazines, internet, books, etc. that bring ideas into our heads.
And that last point is what I want to focus on.
Materials like songs, television, magazines, internet, and books are not always bad. They have the potential to make our lives better, to make us think about things and the world in a new way, see things from other people’s perspective, help us cope with difficult things we’re coping with, and so on. So there are good things in what we encounter.
All of the things I mentioned above have or can have good and bad aspects. Let’s look at the internet as an example.
The internet can help us connect with family and friends, share what we enjoy, learn new things, and connect with new people. But, the internet also gives us access to terrible things such as pornography. I know that there are a whole heck of a lot more terrible things out on the internet like cyberbullying, racism, sexism, and so on. But I think pornography is a problem for people my age and those an age bracket or two older than me.
And the internet doesn’t stop there, because you can access other things on the internet that aren’t good for you. A couple of other things that come to me that you can access on the internet are reading materials (pornographic and not) and videos (pornographic and not).
But the internet isn’t the only thing that we can come into contact with.
Partially because of my Bachelor’s in English Literature and partially because I’m a nerd in general, but books and other literary genres are some of my favorite ways to encounter the world or the imagination. There are great books and series out there that can help allow this to happen in a good or productive way.
And this can go for other things as well.
Other things like songs, magazines, games, etc. have two sides that we can encounter and use. There’s the side that is good and is productive. And then there’s the side that isn’t good and has the ability to tear us down.
Okay, so what? Why should we care?
Let’s look at the short-term of both good and bad things. Both have the potential to make you feel good at first and leave you wanting more. But the good will have a better impact on your health and mental and emotional states than the bad will. And the bad has the potential to leave you feeling emptier in the end than the good would have.
As for the long-term, the good can help you either grow as a person or just generally help you as a human being. But if you do the bad, then you can be tempted to continue it, you can tempted to do worse, and you could possibly go in a spiral downward into more bad things.
Okay, so either we grow as a person or we spiral out of control. Why should this matter?
God only wants the best for us. He doesn’t want our physical, mental, or emotional health to go to the wayside because of these bad things. He wants us to choose the good and have a good life. And He wants to be a part of our lives as well.
Not only that, but He will be, and is, more than glad to forgive us, help us, and lead us along to the good things, even if we had been choosing the bad things before. If we have gone astray, He is and will be immensely glad to take us back and lead us along the good path. And if we’ve been on the good path for a while and continue to walk it, He will still gladly lead us along it.
So as I close off this post, I have a challenge for you.
I challenge you to look at what you’re taking in: the books, the songs, the magazines, the games, the internet, etc. Out of these things, what is leading you to good things and what is leading into the downward spiral? If there are bad things, I invite you to get rid of them, talk about them with others, and/or pray about them. With the good things, continue doing what you’re doing.
And if things are different outside of America, please feel free to share!