Girls just want to have fun, we are told. Raunchy comedians just want their tantalizing fantasies to give us a good time. Hollywood just wants to make a buck. None of this will impact anybody.
Yet people, often these same people, also want to Influence others. Sinful urges promotes a world where it can feast on whatever it desires without responsibility, yet it simultaneously can wield power to lessen the grip others have on godliness.
Can deniability of consequences and causality coexist in a world where we can effect social change, alter attitudes and coax consumers’ spending patterns? The flesh would have it both ways.
Yet, a recent scientific study, once again, shatters the illusion that ideas are inconsequential. What happens when people listen to another’s claim that behavior is nothing more than genetic programing?
Azim Shariff and Kathleen Vohs discovered, “We see signs that a lack of Belief in free will may end up tearing social organization apart.” In this Scientific American article focused on studying the impact of a belief in free will, they provide several reasons for their conclusion. These included: “diminished belief in free will also seems to release urges to harm others” and “people whose free will beliefs had been weakened were less able to inhibit impulsive reactions during a computerized test of willpower” (Sci. Am., June, 2014: 78,79).
Although the flesh thrives upon ideas being both conveniently inconsequential and simultaneously influential, scripture never wavers. Ideas matter. They come in two forms: truth and lies.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12:2).
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4: 22,23).
How can the Christian navigate their world?
- Your words make a difference. Speak the truth in love to those around you.
- Don’t buy into the lie that you are immune to digesting ungodly ideas. Today’s media choices influences tomorrow’s living.
- Focus your thoughts upon whatever is true, noble, godly, pure, right or admirable.
Jesus said his disciples should be like salt in the world. To fulfill our role, we must be the influence, not those who are being changed.
–by Barry Newton
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