Since your talk at Horizon Christian school I have been working on cutting down the amount of media in my day. I have gone from 26 hrs. of total media from computer and TV to about 4 to 6. I have seen a total change in how I interact with others and I have had a better relationship with my family and have felt closer to God. I am continually trying to reduce the amount. It was very hard in the beginning but I have seen the rewards. I would love to share my whole testimony, I think it would influence of a lot of teens. God has put me through many trials and has done a lot in my life.
I grew up in a Christian home from the day I was born. I had two great loving parents. My dad’s parents were missionaries in Ecuador and my Mom’s dad was a pastor. From the day I was born I faced several trials. I was born with no depth perception and had to have three eye surgeries. When I was ten years old I was diagnosed with three concussions, ADHD and Dyslexia. I was very active as a kid playing soccer and hanging with friends but my toughest challenge would come in middle school.
When I entered middle school I was teased a lot about the things I struggled with. I would be called retard and other names. The kids would think they were joking but inside it was killing me. I started absorbing myself into the TV and Internet as an outlet. As I went into high school I was focusing on how I could impress others instead on how I could impress the Lord. My sophomore year I pulled the fire alarm. I did it to impress my friends because I saw people on TV doing it and no one getting in trouble. I, however, got kicked out of school.
I went to a summer boarding school and while I was ther I was sucker punched and I believe it was a sign from God. I heard Him in the hospital when I was all alone telling me that I needed to focus on Him and not others and I started doing that. I went to Horizon Christian school for my final two years of high school. They were great. I did great with soccer and ended up getting a scholarship to play soccer at South Western Christian University in Oklahoma city.
I was closer to God but until Phillip Telfer came to my school I was not as close as I wanted to be. I would come home and just watch TV and go on the internet for hours if I didn’t have something else to do like soccer practice or hanging with my friends. I became addicted to the point where I wouldn’t hang with friends because I would want to watch TV and go on the computer. I would see myself treating my family badly and others. If you would have come up to me and said I had a problem I would tell you I didn’t and could stop at any time but I couldn’t.
After Phillip Telfer spoke I began to minimize the amount of media I took in and spent more time in the Bible and with my family and friends. I saw a whole change in my life. I had a relationship with the Lord I never had before. I was closer than ever with my two brothers. When being on the internet for that much time I would find myself on pornography sites. I would have my parents put blocks on but I could find a way to get by them. I needed god help to overcome it.
To other teens out there I want you to understand that you can’t try and solve your problems with media or you become consumed even after I restarted my relationship with the Lord it was not until I admitted to myself I had a problem and asked for the Lord’s help. I believe He put me through all the trials I have had in my life for a reason. I would not be where I am today if those things did not happen. I believe the only way to really work and overcome a media addiction is through God and others to support you. With God all things are possible.
A Recent Update from John-Mark…
My walk with the Lord is growing as I am in college now. I probably watch one hour of TV a week, I don’t play video games anymore, and I spend less time on the internet. Every time I feel tempted I just go to my Bible and read. Not being so addicted to media any more gives me the ability to focus on school, soccer and my relationship with the Lord.