Novels, newspapers, blogs, forums, magazines and websites contain a lot that is purely non-Christian yet so interesting for the eye to browse through. What can we say to a person that wants to know what God says about these publications?
There are those obvious publications which are a clear no go area for Christians. As an example, a publication on pornography is not to be heard of amongst Christians. There may be justifications for reading such but it is just a clear non Christ like publication. Then there are those that are not as obvious but do promote evil practices such as gossip, drug and alcohol abuse, love of money, etc. That is where a Christian should have a sensitive spirit of discernment and put aside the publication or skip those sections that are not good.
How do you know that a publication or section in a publication is not good for you to read as a Christian?
- Materials that increase the pressure to fall into sin. All those things that stir up lust and fantasies on sexual intimacy are not good for a Christian to read, even if you are married. Remember that even if you are married but you are still a child of God who has to strive to keep your heart and soul pure before God.
I liked a reaction by one sister who decided not to read a certain magazine because most of the material in got her teased sexually. I used to like the magazine myself but somehow later lost interest in it. The behavior of this sister indicated how she treasured the pure state between herself and God in sexual matters in her thoughts.
- Material that hurts your spiritual relationship with God. Delighting in the Lord Jesus calls for the believer not to set his or her eyes on things that drain the strength of the relationship with God.
- Things that do not edify you. Your soul should be edified and get courage to do more works that God approves. A publication that will discourage you to share, pray and seek God’s face should is not supported. Those publications that will question your belief in Christ and suggest alternatives are strongly discourage for a believer.
It is not always easy to make a selection of good material without reading. However, once you have read and learnt that a certain publication has content that makes fall into the four listed traps above, shun it.