You Are Under The Influence!
Whether you realize it or not, you are being influenced all day, every day. From what you listen to and watch to who you hang out with, everything has an influence on you.
It’s crazy to think of how much information is at our fingertips. We can listen to podcasts, watch the news, follow hundreds or thousands of people on social media and every single avenue will have an impact.
Every time you turn on the radio, you are influenced by what you listen to, whether it’s music or the voice of talk show hosts. Every time you go hang out with your friends during the weekend, you are influenced by your conversations together. Every time you turn on your TV to watch a show or movie, you are influenced.
Do you plan on logging onto Facebook or Instagram today? Be prepared to be influenced! Going to lunch with co-workers? Be prepared to be influenced. Attending church this Sunday? Be prepared to be influenced.
I know it might sound dramatic, but it’s true. Speaking of dramatic have you ever heard or read anyone say, “Target made me do it.” In other words, “I was influenced so much by the items Target was selling and therefore I purchased them (and then blamed Target for influencing me).”
Hopefully after all my examples you now understand that you are under the influence! But, do you understand the impact what you are putting in your mind is having on you?
I think so many Christians think they can watch, listen, read or engage without being influenced, but the reality is, that is not true because everything you put into your mind, eyes and ears impacts you.
Philippians 4:8 says, “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind.”
There is no way you can watch and listen to junk and expect to focus on what is true, real and holy. It just doesn’t work that way.
Colossians 3:1-2 says, “This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, honor, and authority! Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.”
Are the voices you are listening to, people you are following and friends you are hanging out with helping you keep your mind on Christ? Are they aiding you in filling your thoughts with heavenly realities or are they instead distracting you with the natural mind?
Here are more verses:
“So stop fooling yourselves! Evil companions will corrupt good morals and character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
“I refuse to gaze on that which is vulgar. I despise works of evil people and anything that moves my heart away from you. I will not let evil hold me in its grip.” Psalm 101:3
“So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” Romans 12:2
‘It’s true that our freedom allows us to do anything, but that doesn’t mean that everything we do is good for us. I’m free to do as I choose, but I choose to never be enslaved to anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6
This is a very small snapshot of what scripture says, but hopefully it opens your eyes to how important this topic is.
For so long I called myself a Christian, and I was one, but I filled my mind with junk. I watched the Bachelor on a weekly basis. I filled my mind with worldly news. I listened to secular talk shows and let me tell you, my life was a direct reflection of all the junk I was filling it with. What was going in, was coming back out. It was affecting every area of my life and the reality was I didn’t look like a Christian at all. Instead, I looked just like the rest of the world.
You might be reading this thinking, “oh it’s just one show, once a week” or “it can’t be that bad for me” but that type of thinking is absolutely wrong. Everything has a positive or negative influence, there is no neutral ground. Just as 1 Corinthians says, “Stop fooling yourselves.”
A friend recently said to me, “I need to Marie Kondo my friends.” If you aren’t familiar, the Marie Kondo cleaning method is a method that encourages you to get rid of anything in your house that doesn’t bring you joy.
Well I want to encourage you to get rid of anything in your life that does not point you to Christ. This might not be what your friends or family members are doing. It might not even be what your friends from Bible study are doing, but Romans 12:2 says, “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you.” If you want to look different than every other Christian, you are going to have to do something different too.
There is a quote that says, “show me your friends and I will show you your future” and it is so true. The reality is if I went to your social media accounts, perused through your DVR and podcasts and hung out with your friends for an hour or two, I would very quickly pick up on what kind of influence was impacting you.
Which means it’s time to turn off the reality tv shoes, the R-rated movies that contain sex, nudity, drugs, cussing and more, the secular radio and in all honesty it’s probably time to unfollow people on social media and slowly distance yourself from a friend or two as well.
This isn’t the most cheery post is it? If I were sharing what you wanted to hear, I wouldn’t be a true disciple. My heart in sharing a message that most likely is making you uncomfortable isn’t to ruffle your feathers, but it is to encourage you to examine your own life so that if needed, you can make some changes, and in the long run look more like Christ.
You are under the influence and you are the only one responsible for what is influencing you. So, what are you filling your mind, eyes and ears with? Is it making a positive or negative impact? What changes do you need to make? What shows do you need to stop watching? Who do you need to stop hanging out with? Who do you need to unfollow on social media? It’s time to guard your heart and mind because from it flows the wellspring of life!
Did you see I launched a podcast? A Cup Full of Hope Podcast is now available for you to listen to!
If you are going through infertility, please head over to join the faith-based support group I founded, Moms in the Making!
Have you picked up a copy of my book? Buy In Due Time, a 60-day devotional for hope + encouragement in the waiting.
I created a group on facebook as an extension of my book + blog to discuss anything + everything. Women only! Come join us!