What’s the soundtrack of your life? What influences you every day? In college, the soundtrack would have included Rod Stewart. Today it’s Chris Tomlin. Quite a difference a few years will make.

man with headphones onIn college (which was before Chris was even born) I loved Rod Stewart’s voice. I loved his songs. In response to a challenge of our college Bible study, I had thrown away all my Rock and Roll vinyl albums. Well, all except for Rod Stewart. I couldn’t live without Rod.

I didn’t think of Rod in terms of defining my life and values, but in essence, his rough voice and rather risqué lyrics were speaking to a culture I secretly wanted to be a part of.

The fact I couldn’t part with his voice said something about where I wanted to be at the time. There were parts of me that rebelled against the convictions I said I believed.

Not too many of my friends knew I hung on to Rod. He was my secret soundtrack. But I’m sure they could see my ears on fire if I would have listened to him with headphones on.

Most of us have some kind of secret belief we hang on to. It doesn’t stay secret very long, though, because what we believe eventually comes out in our behavior and then that behavior becomes our new belief.

“What I see, hear, think and say becomes what I see, hear, think and say,” Jeremy Risner, Christian Chapel lead pastor, said.  “All that I see, hear, think or say influences the person I become.”

CULTURAL INFLUENCE

By allowing the culture around me to influence me, I was moving farther away from God’s culture. In other words, the line between truth and lies became very blurry.

Or as Risner puts it, “Today’s lie becomes tomorrow’s behavior.”

It doesn’t really matter that I tell myself I don’t want culture to influence me, if I welcome it with open arms into my life, will affect me. I may think it’s just music or a book, movie, television show or internet site or something small, but before long it has become what we base our lives on.

We actually change our mindset in a negative way when we listen to the voices of our culture. Today it seems the powers of the air have gotten louder. We can listen to any music we want, watch any movie, find any television show, picture or sleezy video we want with the click of a mouse.

In other words, we can program our minds with anything we wish and we don’t even have to go to a store that wraps it discreetly so no one knows what we’ve purchased. It’s delivered to us in nanoseconds.

The antithesis to this is to think on truth, positive things, good things, noble, lovely, praiseworthy things. Sometimes, though, our minds are so clouded by what is being shouted from every rooftop that we have no idea what truth is.

“The world is full of half-baked and twitsted truths,” Risner explained. “The world’s memory is hazy regarding truth. God is clear about it, though. He says, ‘If you hear My soundtrack, then follow My soundtrack.’”

The only way to do that is to read His Word and put into practice what it says.

Culture wants to tell us what to think. It is pleasure and experience-driven. God’s truth, though, says instead of pleasing our bodies, we should offer them as living sacrifices.

“When desires and pleasures chase you, lay them on the altar and chase after God,” Risner said.

RENEW OUR MINDS

According to Romans 12:1-2, instead of living according to our instinct and doing just what comes naturally, we should live transformed by the renewing of our minds through scripture and according to what Christ wants.

Left to our own devices we will do what we think is right, but Proverbs 14:12 says that way will lead to death. However, God gives clear instructions about how to really live. In Duet. 30, He says must make a choice as to how we live.

“Each of us have hindrances that weigh us down,” Risner said. “You can’t be successful carrying the extra weights. You can get to heaven with hindrances but while you are here on earth they weigh you down. Throw them off. You don’t need them. If you let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart, He will reveal what is in your heart that is hindering you.”

It all comes down to what soundtrack are you playing? Does it overwhelm and consume your life?

PAST INFLUENCES

“Culture is full of people who use their past as an excuse,” Risner continued. “Don’t let that broken record of hurt, pain and bitterness be your sound track. Change from a CDR to a CDRW so your past can be rewritten.”

Breaking with past issues will take making a definite decision to turn and walk the other way. To walk away from whatever addiction or habit seems to be in control of our lives.

“Don’t keep riding the fence. You have to make a decision.”

IDENTITY

Another thing that influences us is our identity.  Who are you? Whose are you? To women do you belong? If you say your identity is found in Christ, then live out that purpose. How you live answers the identity question.

Christ can influence your soundtrack if you allow Him to.  Listen to truth more often in order to allow His influence.

“When I face the difficult circumstances of my life, I don’t need, ‘Baby, Baby,’ I need to know Jesus is always there.”

Risner’s message was one that I had found true in my life. As a college student, as I exchanged Rod Stewart for Love Song and other Christian artists, I found Christ to be the background music of my life.

Of course, it’s not all about the music, is it? It’s about what we allow to influence us, what we pay attention to and how we live our lives.

If there is something that is affecting the soundtrack of your life, take time to write it out on a piece of paper and then prayerfully throw it the trash can marked old soundtrack. Do it every day if you need to until it is really there to stay and the new soundtrack is playing.

BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS

Philippians 4:8-9, If our thoughts are not the best, how can we begin to change them? How does our culture make thinking on these things almost impossible? What can we do to combat the negative cultural messages?

Romans 12:1-2, How do we transform our minds? How does the renewal happen?

Proverbs 14:12, How do we avoid going down this road?

Deut. 30:15-20, What does God say we must do? How is not making a choice, a choice in itself? What do you pour your life in to? What are you living for? Who is the god of your life? Is it you, culture or God? How do you know for sure?

Hebrews 12:1-2, What weight are you carrying? What is the price of being pulled by cultural influences? What is the cost of sin? Are we willing to pay that cost in order to keep on in our pet sin?

Romans 10:17, How can this verse help us rewrite our sound track? What is always playing in your car, at home or on your iphone? What is playing on the soundtrack of your mind?

Are you in love with Sugar?
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Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 260 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. She has two more books, "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help" and "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" in addition to "Sweet Grace" and "Sweet Freedom Study Guides". Her fourth book "Sweet Hunger: Developing An Appetite for God" will be available in summer 2017. All books are on Amazon. Her Coaching Programs can be found under the Weight Loss or writing tabs at TeresaShieldsParker.com. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking Tab.

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