Media Discernment Challenge

Here’s some challenges to help you develop better media discernment 

What are some things you have been neglecting in your life that are spiritually, physically, or mentally beneficial? It is likely that these are going to be hard things to make good habits of. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to a lifestyle of convenience and instant gratification rather than the hard work and waiting to develop more beneficial things in your life.

The late preacher A.W. Tozer once said, “we are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God”. Yet how many have answered that call?

“It is not as if you are wandering around in the dark one night and you accidentally stumble into a pit called ‘a preoccupation with Christ’. It’s just the opposite. It is like trying to climb Mt. Everest”

If we were honest we would have to admit that we are not preoccupied with Christ but preoccupied with the things of the world. A preoccupation with Christ doesn’t come about by accident. It is not as if you are wandering around in the dark one night and you accidentally stumble into a pit called “a preoccupation with Christ”. It’s just the opposite. It is like trying to climb Mt. Everest.

There are some obsessed people who climb or want to climb Mt. Everest. It’s not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of time and preparation and a large amount of money on top of it. One of the biggest obstacles though is the limitations of the body. The climbers have to spend a couple weeks at base camp to allow their bodies to climatize to the high altitude and the low oxygen levels. The local Sherpas who were born and raised in that region have unique physical qualities that allow them to be better suited to the climate and altitude. Their heart and lungs are adapted to give their bodies more oxygen than the average foreigner can gain without bottled oxygen.

Likewise, if you want to grow in passion for Jesus and live a life that’s different than what you are living now, it will take time to “climatize” to a new surrounding.

Here are four ideas that can help you acclimate to new heights of spiritual living.

1. Consider a two week media fast: A “media fast” 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 it 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”. read more about a media fast

Keep a journal during your media fast and when you’re done take some time and write a short article about what God taught you during that time or share your insights in a two minute video and send it to me and I’ll post it on our site!

2. Clean House: Fasting from something that is good and nutritious or even unhealthy but sustaining can be a good thing, but living on a diet of poison is deadly. Much of media today crosses the line of unhealthy into the realm of spiritual poison. Don’t compromise. Be sure and get rid of anything in your possession that dishonors God. read more about cleaning house

3. Renew Your Mind and build a stronger Biblical worldview in your life by spending more time in the Bible. Take our Bible reading challenge and read the entire Bible in 101 days – you can do it! It only takes about 45 minutes a day. The average reader can read the Bible in about 70-75 hours. I took this challenge myself earlier this year and it took me 44 minutes a day on average to read the entire Bible in 101 days. Some people make the argument that they don’t like to rush through reading the Bible or they don’t want to be “legalistic” about a Bible reading plan. I don’t believe it is legalistic to discipline yourself to read the Bible on a regular basis, because legalism is not about a disciplined life but about a wrong philosophy that you can somehow earn your salvation through doing things. Let’s get past that excuse and address the other issue of not rushing through the Bible.

Reading the Bible 45 minutes a day could hardly be considered “rushing” through the Bible. While I was reading the Bible in 101 days that did not stop me from diligent study beside my Bible reading or keep me from meditating on certain verses and memorizing others.Try this – read the Bible in 101 days (a little over three months) and spend the other 8 months of the year reading the Bible slower. The benefit I gained from reading so much Scripture in a shorter time is that it saturated my thoughts with God’s Word and I was able to get a birds eye view of the entire story that God has written for us.

Replace vs. Take Away: What important things have you been neglecting in your life because of excessive or careless media habits? These challenges are not just about getting rid of harmful, wasteful, or unnecessary media and entertainment in your life. It is much more than that. It is about fixing your eyes on Jesus and running the race He is calling you to run. It’s not just about turning off the TV but putting “on the Lord Jesus Christ”

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:14

It’s not just about prying your attention away from worthless pursuits but reconditioning your life to a walk of faith and a “hunger and thirst for righteousness”. read more about replace vs. take away

More Articles by Phillip Telfer

Phillip Telfer

Phillip Telfer


Phillip Telfer has ministered to youth and families for over 20 years, sharing at camps, retreats, schools, conferences, and churches around the country. He is the director of Media Talk 101 which is a non-profit ministry dedicated to teaching media discernment in the light of following Christ. Phillip recently authored the book “Media Choices: Convictions or Compromise?” He also produced and co-directed the award-winning documentary Captivated and founded the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild. Phillip is passionate about family-integrated church and ministry and serves as the teaching pastor at Living Water Fellowship in Bulverde, TX. He and his wife Mary have been happily married for 26 years and have been blessed with four children and one grandchild.