When I was doing 31 Days of Truth, several of you asked me to share more on my thoughts about television. Please keep in mind while reading that these are exactly that: my thoughts. Doesn't mean that they are right or wrong, but it is a conclusion that I have come to after careful consideration and study. So, here goes.
My husband and I are really into watching movies. It is one of our favorite things to do as a couple. Whether it is going on a date to see a new release or watching Netflix on our wide-screen at home, it is something that we like to do together. Maybe it's the entertainment aspect - the exciting visuals of a Michael Bay film, the suspense of a thriller (I love Taken), or the way I can't help but cry when I watch Marley & Me. We love a good story - have you ever watched the Pixar trailer for how they make their movies (I think it is on the Wall-E bonus features)? It is incredible the amount of thought, work, and creativity that is involved in making a two hour film. We have conversations about how a movie is similar to the book or vice versa. I get major bonus points when I can name a quote from some of Raleigh's classics: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones - just to name a few. If I have the evening to myself, I'm a sucker for movies like Steel Magnolias, The Notebook, or New in Town (not sure why I love that one so much but I do).
On weeknights, we usually watch a DVR of our favorite television shows - The Office, Parks & Rec, Modern Family, Up All Night, and The Walking Dead. It is a way for us to just sit after a very long day of drawing buildings and taking care of babies. Usually at lunch, I watch an episode (or two) of some reality show (The Hills/The City, Giuliana & Bill, America's Next Top Model) or Food Network (love Giada at Home and Barefoot Contessa). It is such a nice break in the day before I start writing in the afternoon.
As you can see, we enjoy our television. But, here's the tricky part: should I be watching some of these shows?
Take Harry Potter for example. We've all read articles or seen interviews about the great Harry Potter debate. When it first came out, it was called demonic by certain parents because it involved magic and dark forces. While that is true, it is also a story about friendship, family, and love.
Same goes for The Walking Dead. I was hesitant at first to watch this series because I don't like gore and I don't like zombies. The show has given me nightmares. Seriously. But, I love the story about ordinary people surviving a post-apocolyptic world.
My answer: yes and no. I think (and again, these are just my thoughts) that it depends on how much television can influence you.
If a movie or show becomes an obsession it might be a good time to take a break. I think, as individuals, we should each access our own sphere of influence and recognize when something needs to be deleted from our lives. We have so much content going into our minds that we have to filter it. If we don't, we start to believe that life is like The Hills or that tomorrow all of our friends will be zombies.
I also think age plays a big roll in this form of entertainment. Movies have ratings for a reason. I know there was a huge debate about the Twilight series. It doesn't use much profanity and until this last movie there wasn't even really a sex scene, but it does have tons of sexual tension. Teenagers (and adults if we're just being honest) have so many hormones and thoughts about dating/relationships, that it could be tempting to think that you want to be like Bella and Edward. Or Jacob, whichever you prefer :)
So, again, I think it is important to recognize how watching a certain show or movie will influence you. I also think it is important to have will-power and obedience to turn away. Or, not watch it at all for that matter. As Christians, we recognize that we are sinners. Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." *The Disciple's Cross explains, "Every man and woman has a problem. The problem can be described in many ways, but the most common biblical word is sin. One meaning of sin is to fall short of the mark God has set. The Bible teaches that God's standard for us is Jesus Christ."
One thing that has taken me a long time to learn is this: I will always fall short of Jesus Christ. As hard as I try to be good and make the right decisions, I still sin. Sometimes that comes in the form of t.v. that I watch. But, I am aware of this sin and I make an effort to live a God-oriented life to the best of my ability. Because I know that He knows what I am watching and what I'm not watching on t.v. **"Although God is not your enemy, He is your judge. As judge He cannot ignore your failure to meet His standard of perfection."
Jesus Christ is God's standard of perfection. The only way for us humans to admit our sin is through repenting. Repentance is all about changing the direction of your life so it looks more like Christ. That doesn't mean we will be Christ - perfect, Son of God, co-heir to the throne - it simply means that we will begin to be more like him. When thinking about being more like Christ in terms of television and movies, I think we can ask ourselves this question from Luke 3:9: "What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? (The Message)"
Whatever is hindering you from being green and blossoming needs to be thrown out. I know the weeds in our lives are hard to get rid of but part of living a life like Christ is obedience. The more we are obedient to the Word the more our lives will blossom and bear good fruit.
When doing this, our little lights sure will shine.
Question: What are your thoughts on watching television/movies?
Till next time, let your light shine!
*"The Disciple's Cross," MasterLife. Willis, Avery T. Jr. Page.103
**"The Disciple's Cross," Masterlife. Willis, Avery T. Jr. Page 104