by Ella Corey
“Don’t watch rated R movies,” I was always told as a kid growing up in my church youth group. “Don’t listen to bad music, it will make you a bad person,” was said as well. Of course, I was a good kid and I listened. But as I got older and continued my public schooling, these things began to creep into my life. To be honest, I don’t enjoy them. Movies with too much sex and violence make me uncomfortable, same with music with obscene language. This is because I was raised with a good head on my shoulders. I was raised to believe that the things you see and hear do affect the way you act. So I take all media my brain absorbs with a grain of salt now, and it is for the better. I have my own morals, standards, and perspective, and I can sense what does and does not align with them.
Many psychology studies have proved that what you watch controls the way your brain thinks. This is an ongoing debate with child violence. Are violent video games the cause of school shootings? In a recent study, it was proved that individuals who play violent video games (as opposed to a control group, who played no video games) show less activity in specific regions of the brain. “For the first time,” says Dr. Yang Wang, assistant research professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine, “we have found that a sample of randomly assigned young adults showed less activation in certain frontal brain regions following a week of playing violent video games at home. These brain regions are important for controlling emotion and aggressive behavior.”
A popular Casting Crowns song addresses this and its correlation to our faith. The following lyrics really carry a strong point:
The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful where you think you stand,
You just might be sinking
“Ideas have consequences:” says Dave Horner, in his book Mind Your Faith, “what we believe will determine how we behave, and ultimately who we become.” We are commanded in Ephesians 6 to put on our Helmet of Salvation. Thus, it is crucial when fighting spiritual warfare to hold firm to our beliefs. The best way to do this is to filter our thoughts and control what enters our mind. “Be careful little eyes what you see,” the Children’s song keeps ringing in my mind. Do not be naïve to the effects of what enters your mind, and stand firm to your beliefs.