But they do. Each image and message we ingest may be a germ that will make us gravely ill, especially when combined with the many other sensory germs we’re taking in. If we’re serious about our spiritual house cleaning, then there must be no exceptions. We must take the images, language, and stories we allow into our minds and hearts very seriously.

If you don’t think there’s a problem with all the cultural influences that invade your life daily, chances are that you’re interpreting right and wrong through a distorted lens. Our church shoots videos every week to use in different areas of ministry. Every time one of our team members videos me, we hold up a white piece of paper in front of the camera before starting. This shot is called a “white balance.”

We do this each time because the camera can’t interpret all the colors until it sees true white. Without a white balance, a blue shirt could look grey or a red flag could appear orange. Once the camera sees true white, then it knows how to discern all the other colors.

Our approach to movies, TV shows, and the culture around us should follow the same pattern. Once you see pure white — or truth — suddenly you can see clearly that so much of what we take in is hurtful to us and displeasing to God. Instead of blindly absorbing whatever media you encounter, allow God’s Word and the guidance of his Holy Spirit to reset your white balance, to re-adjust your standard of right and wrong, and to live in a manner that brings glory and honor to God.

Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of Lifechurch.tv, the second largest church in the United States and the creator of the YouVersion Bible App. He and his wife Amy reside in Oklahoma with their six children. A bestselling author, this essay is an adaptation from Craig’s new book, Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated Worldlaunching May 7th.

Publication date: May 6, 2012