In a day and age where Youtube, blogs, podcasts, and influencers are all career options, how can one navigate around the constant pressures of what to look like, what to do, where to go, etc? I want you to consider what is influencing you right now in your life? A person can be influenced positively or negatively. Proverbs 4:23-27 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
We are all easily influenced
We are influenced by our parents, friends, teachers, and even celebrities. We’re influenced by what we read on Facebook and Twitter and see on Instagram. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, we don’t always realize how much culture influences us.
Guard your heart
Guarding our hearts means being mindful of what we read, what we watch, listen to, what we see on social media, etc. We can be influenced by all these things without even knowing it. The Bible teaches us to be careful of all things that influence us. Are we feeding ourselves with whatever is pure, admirable, lovely, honorable, holy, and praiseworthy? (Philippians 4:8). Ask yourself how does this affect me? What are you filling your mind with? Who gives you your identity? Ask yourself: Does this person, movie, or song help me love God and others more? Do they help me honor God?
Prudence is often called “the charioteer of the virtues.” It guides our conscience to make decisions according to the law of Christ. It also lets us choose the right means of achieving the true good in a specific situation (CCC 1806). Our media posts don’t just affect us and our friends. We are incredibly visible. Over time, we’ve inevitably developed habits of thinking, and acting. We are representatives of Jesus and His Church. We have to be careful because negative influences hurt our relationship with God. God expects us to be good stewards of that influence for His kingdom’s sake. Your circle of people has the power to bring you closer to Jesus or to draw you farther away. Choose wisely!
Psalm 72 is a prayer for leaders, and it says, “Please stand up for the poor, help the children of the needy, come down hard on the cruel tyrants.” God wants you to use your influence to be the voice for the voiceless and most vulnerable. As Christians, we are called to be the light in the world for God and help build the kingdom. God wants you to thrive in life and live life to the full. With social media, we can fall into the trap of becoming victims of our own negative thoughts. The Bible records God’s bold declaration that we are to take every thought captive to obey Christ. If you are like me, my thoughts are hyperactive and chaotic at times. None of us want to live in anxiety. How can something we cannot see have so much control of who we are, how we feel inform what want etc? Learning to capture our thoughts matters because how we think shapes how we live. What is preventing you from thriving? The Bible tells us do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. What we believe and what we think matters and the enemy knows it. He is determined to get into your head and prevent you from doing good, make you feel helpless, and overcome you with self-doubt. When we hand over everything to God he can help us be the light in the world where there is so much darkness. Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12).