The two most potent shaping influences in your life are the things you allow into your mind and the people in your life. What feeds your brain, and who are the individuals that influence you the most? The answer to that question will reveal a lot about you. I am going to examine this concept in this devotional, hoping it will motivate you to reflect on your shaping influences.
You are a composite of the media you love and your friends with whom you associate. For the Christian, our goals are to love God and others more than anything else. The ideal is to build a network of influences to surround you and help you accomplish those two satisfying aims. If your media content and close network of friends keep you detached from biblical thinking and living, the most prudent thing you can do is change your media choices and peer group.
Media choices include things like television, internet, music, books, and, of course, social media. It also consists of the devices and platforms that bring your favorite content to you. There is a battle for your mind, and if the enemy can capture your thoughts, he will trap you (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Even if negativity and horribleness have shaped your story thus far, you can flip your narrative into something positive (Genesis 50:20; Philippians 4:8), but you will have to make effective changes.
After the Lord regenerated me, I decided to let the Bible brainwash me. It was a deliberate choice to put all my “mental eggs” in one basket. Everybody is under the influence of others. I knew I could not separate myself from the world, but I could control how the world influenced me. My primary influencers became God’s Word and Christian friends who wanted Jesus more than anything else.
You’re not an independent, isolated dirt clod (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 103:14) floating through an orbit of nothingness. Each day brings new shaping influencers. You’re always under the persuasion of others, and you are impacting others. The first choice you must make is what captivates your mind.
Time to Reflect
1. To what degree do God’s Word and His community influence your life?
2. How do you make the Bible practically relevant to your individual life? Be specific.