How much are we influenced by what we expose ourselves to? I recently read "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson, and in it he describes a very eye-opening experiment conducted by the psychology department of NYU:
“One of the experiments involved a scrambled-sentence test. The first test was sprinkled with rude words like disturb, bother, and intrude. The second test was sprinkled with polite words like respect, considerate, and yield. In both cases, the subjects thought they were taking tests measuring intelligence. None of the subjects picked up on the word trend consciously, but it primed them subconsciously.
“After taking the five-minute test, students were asked to walk down the hall and talk to the person running the experiment about their next assignment. An actor was strategically engaged in conversation with the experimenter when the students would arrive. The goal was to see how long it would take students to interrupt...The group primed with rude words interrupted, on average, after five minutes, but 82% of those primed with polite words never interrupted at all." ~ Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker, p. 153
|Photo courtesy of Fyreseeker777 and Photobucket|
Did you realize that everything we see and hear is priming us either positively or negatively? If the students were influenced to that degree after spending 5 minutes with scrambled sentences, how much are we influenced by an hour-long television show, a two hour movie, listening to a CD or playing endless hours of video games? No wonder there's so much promiscuity and violence in our culture today! It DOES matter what we expose ourselves to.
In His Word, God tells us what should be surrounding ourselves with:
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8
This is why it's so important to immerse ourselves in God's Word, especially in the morning. By doing so, we begin to recognize His voice and are inclined to act the way He would have us act.
What are you exposing yourself to? Is it something you'd watch, listen to or read if Jesus was with you - because if you are a Christian He IS with you. If you're not sure, why not ask God to reveal to you what you're taking in that's not pleasing to Him?
Lord, forgive me for being unaware of how much I'm being influenced by what is going on around me. Help me to be discerning as to what I expose myself to and enable me to reject what is not pleasing to You. Draw me to Your Word, that I will more and more reflect You in all I do.
I've been known to link up with: Soli Deo Gloria, Inspire Me Monday, Titus 2sdays, Tell Me a Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Courtship Connection, Into the Beautiful, God Bumps & God Incidences, Word-Filled Wednesday, Winsome Wednesday, Simply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Monday's Musings, Monday Montras, Sonday