Monday, March 2, 2009

The Prevention of Desensitization

Desensitization is ugly. Oh, it might look acceptable, even nice on the surface for a little while. But the longer you deal with it, the deeper you delve—it is an insatiable monster that drives those it holds.

So how are we to deal with this enslaving monster?

The simplest and most obvious answer is prevention—to never let the monster enslave you in the first place. Of course that’s easier said than done, with variables dependent on the person. But here are five things I’ve found to help me keep this monster at bay:

1. Know your weakness and personal limitations. The point of vulnerability is the point of most likely attack. So if you know of a breach in your heart’s wall, set up extra patrols and provide more security in that area. Do you have an overactive imagination like me? Then tiptoe around the scarier films, limiting how often you watch some and avoiding others completely.

2. Research the questionable. Is a book or movie highly recommended but sounds questionable in some way for you? Find out from reliable sources about that area. For example, I use to check out the latest film releases. The movies are duel rated for craft and content, like I do my books reviews, so I can weigh whether good craft or content overcomes the bad opposite. Also the ratings are accompanied with a thorough analysis of problem areas, like sexuality, violence, and false religion. So depending on the why, I may go to a -1 or -2 for content (the content rating is based on family friendliness) because the craft is good and the problem area is not one I struggle with.

3. Provide yourself a way out. Still not sure if this story is right for you? Then don’t see that movie in theater, but wait to rent it so you can turn it off and walk way without feeling bad. Or barrow that book from a friend or library instead of purchasing it yourself.

4. Stay accountable. Talk about what you’ve read lately. Take a friend to see the movie. And listen: If a trusted mentor or mature Christian questions your habits or a change in your life, it may be a red flag of desensitization setting in—especially if you feel compelled to rationalize or justify your actions.

5. Be sensitive to God. Pray, read Scripture, and be open to His prompting. He knows you better than you know yourself and will let you know when you’re headed in the wrong direction.

But basically, all these rules of thumb can be summed up in one sentence: if in doubt, walk away. You can always go back if your doubts are proven wrong.

1 comment:

Brandon Barr said...

Good advice, Chawna :)