Television, the mind, and conduct

The headline might as well have said,

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Prov. 23:7)

Instead, yesterday’s headline said, “Study links teen pregnancy to sexy TV shows.”

The short version of the story is that a recent study conducted by Pediatrics found that there is a much higher incidence of pregnancy among teen girls who watch television shows containing a significant amount of sexual dialogue and activity.  In fact, they are twice as likely to become pregnant than girls who do not watch such shows (like Friends, Sex and the City, and That ’70s Show). [Aside:  Interestingly, the same issue also had an article entitled, “Linkages Between Internet and Other Media Violence With Seriously Violent Behavior by Youth.” That’s the same topic just with different details.]

My comment is not so much about the incidence of pregnancy, although that obviously is a concern.  What we are wise to note is that what we watch is important.

What we watch on television and read in newspapers and browse at in stores and view on the internet and listen to on iPods informs our minds.  These either sharpen or dull our consciences.  These activities either draw us to Christ or drive us away from Him.

We cannot watch “anything” on television (or internet, or books, etc…) and assume it doesn’t change us.  What we think about will produce like actions.  So the key, as Jesus and Paul both taught, is that to experience the joy of transformed lives, we need renewed minds.

Here is a case where the saying really is true:  “It’s all in your head.”  What we do is all founded on what’s in our head, and if we keep our minds informed and trained with ungodly lies, our lives will produce ungodly lives.  Solomon said it 3000 years ago.  And your newspaper confirmed it again yesteday.

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