Thursday, September 5, 2013

Who Affects You?

In North America today we are flooded with images, thoughts, ideas, and philosophies on a daily basis. These communications are designed to influence our thoughts and in turn, our behaviors. Whether it is a commercial trying to get you to buy the newest car or a infomercial describing the newest "breakthrough in inner healing," we soak in a lot of material each day without really even trying to do so.

All communication is influence. There is much of this influence that we can't avoid if we intend to live in society. It is next to impossible to watch television, walk down the street, or stroll through a mall without someone trying to influence you. I would suggest, however, that it is possible to choose which of these messages we will allow to influence our thinking and behavior.

On the level of personal choice we must also take care in choosing who we "let in". Actors, singers, writers, and speakers all have an agenda. They want to influence. The Apostle Paul talked about some people whose influence was not profitable for the churches of Galatia. Notice these verses:

Galatians 4:16-17 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.

Family Bible Notes says, " They; the false teachers professed a great regard for the Galatians, that they might detach them from Paul, and attach them to themselves."

Every communicator is trying to elicit a response from his or her audience. Let's be sure that we are listening to the right people with the right message. And we should be most careful about the "sneaky communicators". Over the past decade we have watched a trend of entertainers who are pushing an anti-God, low morality agenda through entertainment. This appears not just in their off-air interviews but figures prominently into the messaging and story lines of their entertainment product. We need to be aware that just because a show is "funny" or a song is catchy doesn't mean that the message is one that we should be allowing to influence and in turn shape our lives.