WHATS INFLUENCING YOU?
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||WHATS INFLUENCING YOU?
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WHAT'S INFLUENCING YOU?
Life is about making decisions. We decide daily about things like morality (should we cheat or take the honest route at school), sexuality (should we sleep with the person we are dating), and economics (what job should we look for). These decisions determine the course of our lives, and ultimately the place where we spend eternity, for the greatest decision is to decide to follow Christ or Satan.
We all like to think that we are unique and that we are entirely original - that we make decisions that are not guided by any outside influence. But this is not the case as the apostle Paul shows in Romans 7:15: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." What is it that makes us do things that we don't want to do. The obvious answer is sin. Sin makes us want to be independent of God and do what we want to do when we want to do it. But is it not possible that there are influences in our lives that cause us to do the things we do? The question is: "What influences the decisions that we make in the '90s?"
There was a time when the greatest influences on teenagers was people (parents, teachers, peers, ministers and youth leaders), but during recent years the influences have changed:
Once we were most influenced by our network of relationships, but now it's the electronic media - Television, film, music, advertising & the printed media. "The whirlpool of information fathered by electric media far surpasses any possible influence Mom and Dad can now bring to bear. Character no longer is shaped by only two earnest, fumbling experts. Now, all the world's a stage. Electric circuitry has overthrown the regime of time and space and pours upon us continually the concerns of all other men. It has reconstructed dialogue on a global scale" (Marshall McLuhan). Clearly, character is no longer primarily influenced by relationships, but by images and the lives of other people that we watch, read about, or hear about. Let's look at some of the influences that surround us today, things that affect our decision making.
In 1950 there were fewer than 5 million television sets in the world. Today there are more than 184 million sets in the US alone. The average household has television on just over 7 hours a day. Every day in the world 250 000 television sets are produced - this is one for every child born every day. By the time teenagers finish high school, they
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