This entry is definitely one of the more deep entries I have worked on. For a couple reasons. One, because it hits very close to home for me, and two, because it is something that I am trying so hard to impart to my children, especially my oldest son. What I'm writing about is controlling your mind. Actually, what is it that is controlling your mind???
When I became a christian, I quickly found out that there were things in my life I had to deal with. Behaviors I had to curb, a certain way to act. While I think all of it ultimately helped me, the motivation and means in the beginning were harmful. See, many times, with many christians, they never truly change things, yet preach and tell others what they need to change. This is why many people who are not christians question, mock, and view christianity negatively. People tend to think that christianity is a crutch, a weakness. I would offer the opinion that to me, it has been harder to live out my faith, keep my mind pure, and truly live for God, than it is to not live that way. It takes a certain kind of strong to not give into temptations, conform with the way society acts, and love those who either don't love you, or who are different than you. The thing is, society doesn't just react to christian living that way, society reacts to anything outside of the norm that way. My brother is a very committed straight edge. This means he abstains from alcohol, tobacco and drugs. After speaking with him about it, he communicated the same thing. More people question his decision, than support it. Why? Is it because he chooses to not be controlled by a substance? Is it because his convictions highlight others' weaknesses??? I think it is an issue of mind control.
Our society is big on conformity. Act this way, speak like this, look like this, believe like this. Anything outside of society's norm causes fear. What is, now think about this, what if our media, our advertisers, our government, our public schools are setting and influencing this "norm" as a way to control it's people??? I'm not talking about some great conspiracy. Why do movies and tv shows, especially on networks like MTV, have such an appeal to young people? Why not middle aged people??? Why is tobacco, and alcohol advertised in such a way that it is appealing to younger people? Why is music marketed the way it is, with concerts, flashy videos, bad language? It attracts young people. To me, like I said, it is all an issue of mind control. Young people are still formulating their beliefs, morals, and values. IKt makes them easy targets to corrupt.
I commend my brother for his decision, especially since addiction is very prevalent in our family. I'm glad he has decided to not be controlled by a substance. For me, and for my children, I am taking it a step further. We are working together to learn how to control our mind, control what influences us. If we fill our minds with junk, we will put out junk. If we conform to how society tells us how to think, we will miss out on bigger things at work. Many people think that religion in a form of mind control, and surprisingly, I would agree. Religion, church (in the negative sense of the word), are all forms of mind control. What I would argue is that living as Jesus did, following the guidelines the bible lays out, isn't about mind control. Its about living a life that is based on acting out your faith and beliefs, not just preaching it. It is about following a set of standards for your life that will bring you protection, blessings, and fulfillment.
When I choose to not watch a certain movie because of it's content, its because I don't want to fill my mind with things that will tempt me, make me feel certain things, or desensitize me to some of the horrible things that should shock all of us. When I screen the music my kids listen too, or the content they are finding on the internet, it's because I want their minds to be clean, pure, not tainted by what society dictates is normal, or right. The last thing I'll say is this: The bible says in Romans 12:2 do not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind. Renewing of your mind-think about that. What does renewing your mind mean to you? It goes on to say that this is how we prove that the will of God is good. God is encouraging you to think! Renew your mind from outside influences, and what others think. Think for yourself! Discover for yourself, not through others, what and who God is. How do I keep my mind form going places it shouldn't?? ( I try to do this, not always successfully.) Philippians 4:8 tells us what to focus on. Whatever is true, right, noble, pure and lovely. Things that are excellent and praiseworthy, think of these things. I think society might be a bit better if we all follow these guidelines. I know for me, and for my family, we are really going to work at controlling out minds.