It Doesn’t Affect Me
Imagine for a moment that you woke up one morning and you noticed that your fingers felt numb. At first you may not think much about it, “Maybe I just slept on my arm and cut off the circulation.” By lunchtime you are starting to get concerned because now the numbness has crept up your forearm, so you decide to go see a doctor.
The doctor seems concerned and conducts a simple test by pinching your arm, but you don’t even flinch. He tries another spot and pinches your arm again, but you don’t react. “Did you feel that?” the doctor asks. “No,” is your reply. At that moment do you think he’s going to say, “Congratulations! We’ve just discovered that you must be an emerging superhero! You have a special superpower; you don’t feel pain!”? No!
Actually, he would be alarmed and begin to order further tests and send you to a specialist to get to the bottom of the problem.
YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
If you were a comic book superhero, it would not be shocking in the least if you had a resistance to pain, but since you are not a superhero, it should be alarming. You see, your body has a nervous system which does a lot of things and one of those things it does well is to produce pain. Most people don’t like pain (and for good reason) but pain is a built in alert system to help protect your body from further harm.
Not only do you have a physical nervous system, you also have a spiritual nervous system which is called your conscience. One of the things your conscience is supposed to do is help you discern good from bad by giving you warning signs when something’s not right. It is supposed to produce spiritual pain when your heart and mind are exposed to things that can be harmful. How well is your conscience working when it comes to today’s entertainment choices? Can you feel the pinch on the arm?
It never ceases to amaze me how many times I’ve heard these famous words, “It doesn’t affect me,” when challenging teens about poor entertainment choices. It is often stated with bold confidence as if possessing a particular gift or talent which allows a person to no longer feel pain. That’s not a good thing, it’s actually a sign of becoming desensitized.
There is an epidemic of people who claim that negative or compromising elements in their media consumption do not influence them. They are people who believe that movies, TV shows, music and video games that glamorize sexual immorality, drug and alcohol abuse, gratuitous violence, anger, hate, despair, suicide, greed, discontentment and many other spiritually and morally destructive themes do not affect them. This is not a sign of superhuman powers but of a heart that is becoming numb, becoming insensitive.
The very fact that someone says it doesn’t affect them is a dead giveaway that they are affected. No longer feeling the pinch, our generation is desensitized and numb. It is the case of a heart that no longer discerns its own corruption. For many, this has become a self-proclaimed badge of honor rather than an alarming concern.
Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil.”