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James 3:13–18 ‘But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.’ (v17)

Our age has seen an explosion of streaming media. Online communication has mushroomed, extending the reach and influence of public opinion to stratospheric proportions. Now, TV programming is promoted not by programme-makers but by viewers expressing their thoughts. These TV talkers publish their observations about programmes and adverts across social media with 61% admitting to watching more TV since starting their online discussions.* They are also increasingly engaging with celebrities and pop culture. 

In tandem, psychologists are mapping the media’s influence on the brain, an increasingly powerful force on the way society constructs itself and then behaves. Research reveals that what we watch influences the way we live, claiming, for example, that viewers exposed to TV violence are desensitised and, ‘may facilitate violent acts. Violence may be contagious by observational learning and social agreement’. Mary Whitehouse proposed this in the 1960s.

It’s important what we choose to feed our minds. What we contemplate affects our choices and actions. In life’s challenges, God speaks with understanding and gentleness. When we listen, we’re changed and our consciousness, and then our behaviour, is shaped by where we choose to focus. 

What we feed the mind helps determine who we become. I’m grateful for all those who use social media to express constructive reflections on God’s love. Let’s change priorities and live not ‘feed the body, feed the mind’ but, ‘feed the mind, feed the body’ and take responsibility to become the best expression of our created selves.


Isa. 26:1–6; Jer. 17:7–18; 1 Cor. 2:6–16; Eph. 5:8–20


Focus on what will keep you focused on God and His purpose in your life.


‘Lord, may I keep my mind focussed on You and discover Your perfect peace. Amen.’ (Isa. 26:3)

Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash; Photo by dole777 on Unsplash
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.