Summary: The seed of all actions and behaviour are born in the mind and it is the birth of these thoughts that give permission to our deeds and choices. If we can guard the mind, claiming the capacities of intellect for God, there is nothing that can defeat us!

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Title is taken from our National Anthem – e.g. we’ll stand on guard for Canada! I’ve borrowed the line in reference to our pledged allegiance to guard our minds for God. Our minds belong to him; our bodies belong to him; the seed of all actions and behaviour are born in the mind and it is the birth of these thoughts that give permission to our deeds and choices. If we can guard the mind, claiming the capacities of intellect for God, there is nothing that can defeat us!

•The battle for the mind is probably strongest through the influence of media and technology.

Primarily geared to youth but certainly applies to all of us. Why youth? You have integrated media into your lives more effectively than generations before you.

o When I was seventeen there were no cds, dvds, mp3s, ipods, play stations or x-box. Color television was a luxury so most of us viewed black and white; we listened to records and 8-track tapes. Home computers were non-existent Now before you get carried away, let me stop you by saying it does not saying anything about how old I am – it speaks of the speed that technology is advancing!

• Not just a youth issue. Media as an influence in Youth Culture: “Adults have a desire to look and feel younger and therefore they tend to follow youth trends in order to facilitate this behavior. Thus the media has a large influence on society as a whole. They effectively manipulate and create false perception...”

• Media is pressing hard to infiltrate our minds for the purpose of manipulating our characters, decisions, priorities, morals and attitudes.

• The message today is personal – it is a challenge to look at myself and face the truth of unhealthy life-style habits and understand their affects in my life and living. Each person is to evaluate behaviours and influences to decide what things or practices inject poison into our minds and bodies.

Whatever those decisions we can be sure as the Speaker’s Bible writes: “A {person} soon rises or falls to the level of the things that they think about…The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts.”

The first battle we face for the mind involves admitting


“Five uses of media by adolescents can be specified: entertainment, identity formation, high sensation, coping, and youth culture identification.”

The five reasons for “media matters” apply to all of us – I may read a certain book to identify with a specific culture, or listen to opera to “calm my spirit” (coping). Why would we go to a movie or concert if it is not for the purpose of entertainment?

Another source:

We ask the questions of the adult community. What media forms entertains us, gets our money, consumes our time and influences our thoughts, behaviours, priorities and principles?

Oddly enough, we’ll spend more time in a day with media influence than we will in faith community, prayer or Bible reading. That is usually the result of drinking in what I want and neglecting what I need. We are more cued and hyped about entertainment and feelings than we are enlightenment and character. Even when we are involved in spiritual formation and development we feel the need to include a meal, user power-point or hype up the presentation because we fear losing people or having them become bored or disinterested.

There is another, stronger battle for the mind.


The influence of media violence on youth:

“Short-term exposure increases the likelihood of physically and verbally aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, and aggressive emotions. Recent large-scale longitudinal studies provide converging evidence linking frequent exposure to violent media in childhood with aggression later in life, including physical assaults…”

Gretchen D. Werle. (2006) Taking Steps to Promote Safer Schools. Journal of School

Health 76:4, 156-158

The point is, the longer we are exposed to violence the more likely we are to think and behave according to those influences. This is true whether it speaks of arguing with family, conflict at church, work or school or larger crimes of abuse and murder and it makes no difference if you are seventeen or seventy. The levels and forms of violence that are expressed in your life, from kicking the dog, to shouting at your spouse, to throwing the hammer at the wall, to, God be merciful, hitting or killing someone, all has its basis in an influence in your past. It could have been six weeks ago or sixty years. The level of violence exhibited in you and me is rooted in the fact of short-term or long-term exposure to violence. It can be related to childhood experiences or an ongoing exposure through media.

“The Mediascope National Television Violence Study found that children are learning aggressive attitudes and behaviors, becoming desensitized to real world violence and developing a fear of being victimized by violence.

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