Practicing Media Discernment:
Why it is Important and How to Do It
But test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:21–22 (NIV)
The Media has changed the way we do business, socialize, and spend our time. People have successful online businesses, met their life partners, and experienced growth in their personal and spiritual lives because of the media.
But some have strayed away from the Christian faith, become victims of scammers and narcissists, or committed crimes because of the media.
The media provides numerous opportunities and benefits, but it also through the media that the enemy lies, controls, and confuses the masses. That is why practicing media discernment is very important.
What is Media discernment?
It is measuring what you read, hear or watch with the eyes and ears of Jesus Christ.
It is the ability to decide whether the information we are consuming is right or wrong, truth or error, based on what God’s word says.
Why is Media Discernment Important?
We cannot read every popular book or sing along to every song. We need to be careful because just the way faith comes by hearing is how fear, doubt, pride, and discouragement come by hearing.
Reading a novel or watching a movie may not seem like a big deal. After all, it is just entertainment. But we need to understand that those things influence our thoughts and actions. It may not seem so the first time you watch an explicit movie, but you will start acting out what you see or read with time.
Jesus called the eye the lamp of the body (Matthew 6:22). He then said that if the eyes are good, then our whole bodies are good. It means that our eyes are doorways to our souls. They influence how we perceive things. If we see bad things, we will misunderstand things, and the reverse is true.
How do we Practice Media Discernment?
Measure what you Consume
Do not just consume everything that the media shows you. Even if it is trending all over the world, you have to be careful.
Find out what God’s word says about that hashtag on social media before you join the discussion. Read book reviews before you buy that book. Then ask yourself whether the information in it glorifies God.
Ask the Holy Spirit for Discernment
Some things in the media don’t seem harmful. In fact, they may seem to be in line with the word of God. But in reality, they may not be suitable for you. The devil is crafty. He disguises himself as the angel of light (2 Corinthians 4:11). And since one of the tools he uses to confuse the masses is the media, he will go the extra mile to ensure that he covers his tracks very well.
Some of the most popular books that we read have bible verses. But the authors misuse the word of God to fulfill their agenda. Some Christian movies have nothing to do with the Christian faith. They are just placed under the Christian genre to draw people in and confuse them.
We need help from the Holy Spirit. He is the only one who can help us know whether something is good even before we read or watch it.
All in all:
Practicing media discernment is vital in this current world. The media is being used as a tool to promote evil.
Believers need to be careful about how they communicate their lifestyles to the world. But they also have to be cautious about who influences them through the media.
We should ensure that whatever we do in deed or word glorifies God.