What are you Reading? What are you Listening to?
Don't misread me here - I'm not saying that we should avoid the entertainment world. I'm as excited as most in SEC country that the college football season starts soon. I practically skipped into the theater (that's right, I said skipped) to see the new Harry Potter movie on Saturday because I couldn't wait to see how they would bring an incredible book to the big screen.
But, the question remains, how much time do we spend filling our lives with positive influences in terms of what we watch, read and hear? It does matter. It does make a difference in how we live our life. For example, if your understanding of relationships is informed primarily by shows like The Bachelorette or Dating in the Dark, you could be missing out on the relationship God intends for you (which, for the record, is much better than anything tv can portray). I'm reminded of the quote from Sleepless in Seattle - "You don't want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie." There is a difference. Real life may lack the helicopter rides and limo rides, but finding someone to love who loves you in return and is willing to put you ahead of all their own needs, wants and desires is much more fulfilling and ultimately gives us a glimpse of Christ's love for His church.
Let me make some suggestions...instead of following a bunch of celebrities on Twitter, try following people like Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Andy Stanley or Perry Noble. Instead of reading TMZ online, maybe set your homepage to Mark Batterson's blog or a site that will give you daily Bible readings set up so you can read the whole Bible in the course of the year. Try mixing up the playlists on your iPod by downloading some stuff like Hillsong's newest album (Faith+Hope+Love). Pick up a copy of Francis Chan's new book "Crazy Love" or Tony Dungy's book "Uncommon" and add it to your reading list.
Who influences you? Are you reading and watching and listening to things that point you to Jesus? It matters.