I never really thought about the effect of media on my life. I had always been the kind of person who would watch the film or listen to the music or read the article and (Thought) I was OK with what it was about. I hadn't really thought about the effect media had on my life.
I used to read trashy teenage magazines I'd look at the fashion pages and wish I had the money to buy the clothes, I'd read the gossip pages and judge people who I didn't even know, I never really thought about it as "Rubbish in". If you put rubbish into your life then you are more likely to put rubbish out.
I used to listen to "Emo" music and for a while didn't think it had much effect until I became depressed and it wasn't until I had come through it that I saw just how much of an effect that kind of music has on my mood, on my day and then on my life!
A few of my friends have made a pact not to watch any films rated higher than a 12. At first I didn't really understand why they did it. I thought that it was them being weak (I could watch these films and be fine! But they can't) or just going over the top, but recently I watch 2 films both 15 or higher and it was amazing how much of an effect it had! There was a lot of sexual references which in the past haven't really had much of an effect even though I had always said (Even before I became a Christian) that I didn't want to have sex or be in a sexual relationship until I was married, but now because I'm more open about it and it's something that I really stand by, the Devil is able to use it as a thing to pull me from God.
I'm 17, I go to college, I have non – Christian friends, I have a Boyfriend (Who is also a Christian) and as a 17 year old college student with a boyfriend and non Christian friends it can be really hard to keep everything under control temptation wise. Some of my friends don't understand some of my views and don't agree that sex before marriage is wrong.
A lot of films and books these days for people of my age have got some kind of sexual reference. I'm lucky, my boyfriend is great, we share the same views on a lot of things which does make avoiding temptation easier, we have a list of things we don't want to be doing and we are pretty good we can stick to it, but we are only human, sometimes we do something and think 'Maybe we should avoid doing that, just to be safe!'
Some of the films I watch are not appropriate (in my opinion) for young Christians especially young Christians who are trying to avoid temptation. Films that have a lot of sexual content -although they may not effect you now they may do later.
Sometimes it's really hard to forget some of the things we see. If you see something (Anything) then you can probably call it back later. Sometimes it's totally beyond our control you can be in a situation thats nothing like what you have seen but you remember it and its bad enough then. But just think if you are sitting with your boyfriend/girlfriend your not doing anything that you shouldn't be doing but you recall what you have seen it's going to be so much harder to resist temptation.
It's different for everyone, some people don't struggle with temptation which is great! But for the people that do, think about what it is that makes it hard for you to resist and think about how you can change it. You don't necessarily have to say that your not going to watch any 15s' or 18s' but there might be a few films that are defiantly worth giving a miss, and it's not just sex that can be a temptation. For some people its alcohol, for some it's drugs or smoking for some people its even self abuse. That was a big thing for me, I used to cut myself, it got bad, it became one of the only ways I could express myself but I over came it!
I think it's normal to be faced with temptation, it's part of being a human, it's an earthly thing. But we should – as Christians- be striving to be 'Not of this world' we should be trying to shake of these earthly chains, the things that hold us back from God and we should be trying to get closer to Him.
Don't be ashamed of things that could be classed as a weakness (Alcohol, sex etc.) Turn them round, make them something to be proud of. Make them the thing you overcame! Make it your way of kicking the Devil back and say 'I'm for God not for the world!'
I have scars from my weakness, some people would see them as a reminder of how things where, how the Devil got to me but I see them as where I have over come the Devil, It's hard to explain, but in someways I'm proud of them, sure it used to be a problem, but they are just scars now.