A popular phrase that we as Christians often hear is that we are to be “in the world but not of it.” It is even included on our “about” page. It is one of our goals as young adults who are surrounded by secular culture. But what we don’t often discuss is what this looks like when lived out. Is there a certain point at which Christians need to take a few steps back in their engagement with pop culture and the media?
I’m going to be honest in saying that this is a question I’ve wrestled with a lot. But I’ve come up with three more questions that I think are beneficial for us to be thinking about when it comes to our involvement with pop culture.
- Where am I placing my identity?
Am I listening to certain bands and watching certain movies just to look “cool” and gain the approval of others? It is important to be honest with yourself about your motivations.
- Is this band, movie, etc. becoming an idol?
Especially think about this in terms of your thought life. It’s okay to be a fan of something, but is it turning into an obsession? Are you constantly thinking about it when you should be spending more of your thought life on Christ?
- Am I compromising my values?
It is important to stop and see how this is affecting our behavior. For example, if you’ve been watching a show where the Lord’s name is taken in vain quite frequently, have you noticed that maybe you’ve started using it in that way, too? It eventually starts to seem okay.
This post may not be as light-hearted as some of the others, but I believe that we need to think about questions such as these in order to appreciate pop culture’s beauty in a healthier and more God-honoring way, so that we might have an influence on it, instead of the other way around.
– Emily H.