Recently I had a conversation with my toddler that made me realize how much the world around us really influences us in ways we may not even realize. As you know we are in the Christmas season. I was telling him what our plans were for the week of Christmas. He likes to know what’s coming. I was explaining that the plan was to go see family on Christmas and who we would see. He loves to list all his extended family members, but then he looked at me and said “Santa bring presents”. I was sort of surprised. You see long before he was born we made the decision that we were not going to do the whole Santa Claus brings presents thing, but that is not what this is about. At two and half my little man has been exposed to enough around him in the stores, on television programs, on the radio, etc. that his first thought about Christmas was Santa and presents, but we have never talked about that with him. At this age we have just treated Santa like Frosty, Mickey Mouse, or his favorite GoGo Cory Carson. As a parent I need to do a better job of making sure he knows what Christmas is really about.


Now please don’t think I am some anti-Santa fanatic out to ruin the Christmas magic because that is not my goal at all. In fact my little man was very excited to get his photo taken with Santa this year. This was just a conversation that made me think about all the little ways we are affected by the world around us. It was a real eye opener for me. I realized that I need to be more cognizant of not only what may be influencing him,

but me as well. 


So often we turn on the television and mindlessly watch a show or turn the radio on and not even pay attention to what song is playing. Most of the time we think it’s probably innocent enough, but is it really? What we are spending our time listening to and watching is influencing our thoughts and our actions. Philippians 4:8 stated “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, is there anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Can we honestly say that we are spending our time meditating on these categories? I know for me I can’t say truthfully that it always does.


Now I don’t feel that we should never watch television or a movie or never listen to secular music, but I do believe we need to be more cautious in what types of things we are exposing ourselves and our children to in this world. I know for me and my family we need to spend more time in God’s word and less time online or streaming. We need to be aware of what is influencing our daily lives. So what is influencing you? Are the movies, tik toks, and music you are spending time on helping your walk with Christ or are they bringing you closer to the world? As we enter another new year let’s put our focus on Christ!

Susan Knowlton
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