“Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27
I know this is not popular in most Christian circles, but it is best for the Christian to guard their eyes and ears from things that are unholy when seeking entertainment. Murder, deception, lying, drunkenness, rape, adultery, fornication, casual sexual relationships, etc. are sins being depicted for entertainment and glorified on the screen. PEOPLE PAY FOR THIS! But so did Jesus. These things are a reality in life to many, but so is a dog eating its own vomit and no ones sits around watching that happen.
Here is a good litmus test for anyone who is a Christ-follower and wants to know whether or not Jesus would want them to watch, hear, or read something that is of entertainment value. If He was sitting right next to you while you were doing it, what would be the reaction on His face to you?
Let’s not get confused as to what I am addressing here. I am not saying you shouldn’t reach out to the lost in the places where they are at. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be around people that are not following God. This is all about choices of pleasure. It could very well deal with hanging out with other people. I guess the principle is the same. What are we really here for?
Some will say that they can discern between right and wrong and so they are able to take the good out of what they choose as entertainment. I say they are only lying to themselves. And maybe… they really enjoy taking in things of this world.
Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.’ Job 28:27-28
Watching violent movies can cause a desensitization to real-life violence and can increase aggressive behavior (1). This affects the ability for us to be compassionate. When we are desensitized by violent content, we will tend to be inactive to violence against others.
This same thought process can be applied to any of the other sins that I listed above. If I am constantly watching movies that contain sexually abusive, fornication, or adulterous content, I will also desensitize my mind to what is acceptable before my God. The subconscious mind plays a powerful role in this in that the more we are bombarded with these images and concepts, the more we will not be appalled by them. This must be why Jesus said, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23
“For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods. You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” Psalm 97:9-11
Media Smarts’ article on Television’s Impact on Kids notes, “Kids today are bombarded with sexual messages and images in all media—television, magazines, advertisements, music, movies and the Internet. Adults are often concerned about whether these messages are healthy. While television can be a powerful tool for educating young people about the responsibilities and risks of sexual behaviour, such issues are seldom mentioned or dealt with in a meaningful way in programs containing sexual content” (1).
What we take in can have lasting affects on our hearts and minds. As with negative content, positive content can have the same impact. After becoming a Christian, I surrounded myself with God’s Word, prayer, and witnessing for Him and many of the awful habits that I obtained throughout my life faded one by one. As I delved myself into things that pertained to Jesus, not only was I able to discern what was good and what was bad in my surroundings and in my life, but Christ started to remove the bad habits and tendencies that encompassed my thoughts and my actions.
This is why the words in Philippians 4:8 are very relevant for our times – “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Let’s not fool ourselves any more. Jesus wants us to be a peculiar people. Jesus chose us. Let’s choose Him in all we do.
“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14
1 – Media Smarts. Television’s Impact on Kids, n.d. Web. Oct. 2014. <http://mediasmarts.ca/television/televisions-impact-kids>
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