girl watching TV
The average adult spends four hours a day watching TV. (eMarketer, July 2013) (© gaiamoments iStockphoto.com)

The purpose of fasting is to deny our normal desires for food in order to focus our attention on the Lord. However, the principle of fasting from things we desire is applicable to other areas of our lives as well. Many things can become our "food."

America is so saturated with electronic media that we tend not to notice its effect. Although Scripture prizes silence and contemplation, modern media constantly fills up our minds, allowing us little room for quietness before God.

Yet God exhorts us to beware of worldliness and to embrace godliness (1 John 2:15-17; Rom. 12:1-2). Jesus calls us to holiness.

I require my students at Denver Seminary to engage in a "media fast." They abstain from an electronic medium for at least one week to note how it is affecting their lives. Most students choose television, since it is a widespread and powerful force.

Almost all of them report they first suffer withdrawal symptoms but later become more peaceful and prayerful. Time is freed up for reading, spouses, children and ministry. Lustful thoughts diminish.

They are surprised at how much television (or some other medium) had affected them and what a difference the fast made in their awareness of God, themselves and their culture. Many resolve to be more careful with these media.

I challenge you to offer your own "media fast" to the Lord and see what the Holy Spirit teaches you about worldliness and godliness in your life.

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