Power in Unplugging: A Media Fast

unpluggedQ: What is a media fast?

A: Technically a "fast" is when you go without something, primarily food, in order to seek God and humble yourself. Christians have often fasted from food as a discipline to draw nearer to God and to demonstrate seriousness when seeking the Lord in prayer. This is different from the need to "clean house" of any toxic media.

Our challenge is to encourage a "media fast" which means to go without certain media for an extended period of time in order to humble yourself, seek God, and help your heart to clear from many of the media "toxins" that can distract us from God or grieve His heart. Often times, people who go on a media fast begin to realize the addiction they have to media and the impact is has on their life. But the idea is not just to fast from media for a couple of weeks only to binge on media again. Hopefully this time will encourage you to develop good lifetime habits of discernment and choices regarding your "media diet".

Do this as an individual or organize a group of participants to keep each other accountable. You will discover your cravings and how strong they are during this time but it's not like fasting from food which your body actually needs. You don't physically need media in your life to survive. Thomas Edison didn't invent motion pictures with sound until 1913. The first television transmission was not until 1927 and the first regular broadcast was in 1936, both happening in England. Prior to that, society survived just fine and so will you if you take a break from it.

Be serious about the fast and use the time you would have spent to seek the Lord in prayer and Bible study. Take a real plunge and commit to 40 days at least. I promise you that you will live through it and likely emerge with a new perspective on life.

Fast from whatever is most distracting in your life right now. Maybe it's television, or video games, or spending too much time on internet social sites. It could mean putting the iPod away for awhile or turning off the CD player at home or in your car. Whatever it might be, don't be a chicken. Learn what it means to pursue Christ at all costs.

"Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him." Daniel 6:18

"Abstain from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22

"Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.'" 2 Timothy 2:19

We want to encourage a generation to become "re-sensitized" to things that they have been desensitized towards in media and beginning to develop convictions about our media choices and habits. Over all we not only need to scale back on the amount of media we consume everyday but also be very cautious about the limited media we do consume. We need wisdom not necessarily rules and our relationship with God should be more important than entertainment which is often profane, godless, and immature.

Here's a great article by Phillip Telfer that goes along with this subject "Understanding Media's Light Pollution"