For the past few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on a number of things in my life among which has been the amount of time I spend watching movies, series and a bunch of other programmes on TV, I was shocked to realize that I can say I loved watching my TV, I had so much appreciation and attachment to particular series that I followed religiously , I couldn’t afford to miss any episode or a review, for me it was not just about watching, No, I related with the characters and even occasionally pictured myself in some of the scenes in the series. I spent so much time downloading the latest episodes and discussing with my friends about particular characters I like most, I can’t say it was an addiction but I also can’t be certain that it wasn’t headed to being one.
One might ask ‘Well what’s wrong with all that?’, by ‘That’ , I mean what I’ve described in the introductory paragraph which if you paid attention you’d realize that it’s written in past tense meaning that it’s no longer true in the present situation. Before ‘something changed’ an online acquaintance recommended a sermon titled ‘A call To Anguish’ which I listened to and got to understand some key points but the most dominant was one in which the preacher noted that our church today is more influenced by the world instead of the church being the one to influence the world. He went on further to explain how the church has been the best consumer of whatever is thrown at it from the media without even questioning the motive. This sermon coupled with some of the revelations that God has been putting on my heart just opened my eyes to this sad reality.
The sad reality is that in general, the Christian Body has allowed so much junk to come into their lives through the media, morality has been redefined based on what celebrities choose to do and say, we’ve gotten to the level where the generally accepted standard of living is what we derive from the media, Christian values have been eroded or in some cases re-packaged to suit the needs of the world. All this has been carefully packaged and sold to us in the form of Entertainment, some have gone as far as referring to it as ‘Christian Entertainment’ which somehow makes it seem acceptable in the Christian circles.
Paul in Colossians 2:8 writes and says that ‘Beware lest any man spoil you through Philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. “What Paul was referring to in this context is that there’s a world view, a system by which the world operates and if as Christians we’re not careful, then this world view (Philosophy) will trap us in such a way that we’ll start living by it and this to a larger extent has been the case in the present world. We seem to easily operate so much in the natural way that anything spiritual to us is abnormal, when we consider someone who thinks they need to do away with the world’s perspective of entertainment, we refer to them as radical or fanatic and yet this ought to be ‘The normal Christian Life’.
Even our beloved ministers find it difficult to preach such a hard sermon calling on the flock to reed themselves of some of this entertainment because they don’t want to be labeled as radicals, they want to operate in supposed love so they’ll just hint on the subject and move on to what seems to be ‘more important matters’. I’ve even seen a number of Christian TV stations gratify the same form of secular entertainment which I’m sure even Jesus wouldn’t be comfortable watching, when you meet unbelievers and believers in a room watching TV, you just can’t tell the difference because both enjoy the same movies and series.
Let’s get practical here for a moment, How many of the movies do we watch that exalt murder?, How many of them simply portray adultery as acceptable?, How many of them chip in with homosexuality here and there?, How many of them objectify women? In how many of them do we find premarital sex normal?, How many redefine love and instead present it as lust? Think about these questions and then also think about how many such movies/series today fall in all those categories, we can even name about 20 of them off head which means it’s about 80% or more of all the movies we’re watching today. You could even formulate more questions to further probe the situation but you’ll still come to the same number or even higher than 80% unless of course your moral standard is not grounded in Christ. The news we watch is full of depression, people killing each other, fighting going on everywhere, it’s such stories that make the headlines and all the stories of peace in the world don’t seem to get the deserved attention, you’ll find that in the media, what sells best is sex, murder, rape, all stories with such content are given more airtime and poor us, we can’t help but consume the same and spend our time watching and focusing on the same. It’s free publicity for the devil in simple terms, “The Thief cometh not, but for to steal, and kill, and to destroy, am come that that they might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), If what is promoted basically is full of death and lies, then we can most certainly say that it’s the works of the ‘thief’ gaining attention and not those of the ‘Good Shepherd’.
“Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3), Now how can God keep us in perfect peace when our minds are stayed on the TV watching everything else and not feeding on his word? It’s impossible for us to partake of this perfect peace if we’re not willing to change something in our lives, to throw away some series, some movies, some magazines and spend more time in fellowship with the giver of perfect peace, for us to get hold of God’s best, we much in our will choose to intentionally focus on the things that matter, Look at the big picture, and we should also remember that God’s more willing to give is this perfect peace than we’re even willing to receive it, The fact that we’ve been given a choice, means that this can’t done by accident or by force from above , it has to be a personal decision followed by a commitment.
I believe that God wants each one of us focused on him, he wants to use us, he wants to bless us even more but many of us are busy focused on everything else apart from the Lord that we can’t even notice the small things God points us to. For me to come to the realization of this, I had been seeking the Lord on what his will is for my life, I needed to understand what I was created for, and how God wanted to use me for his Glory, Being born again for over 10 years and still not understanding what God’s purpose for your life is can be discouraging but I kept on asking and seeking the Lord on the subject. The revelation came to me after realizing that I was too focused on keeping up with the world that I gave less attention to God’s word. I’ve been involved in so many activities, so many societies that I had started losing track of my faith even when on the outside I seemed to have it all together. I had to literary disconnect myself from all the activities and things that kept me occupied so as to understand what it is that God was trying to communicate to me for the past 10 years.
Once we understand that as Christians we’re meant to draw energy from our spirits then we can avoid so much of the stress we go through, so much of the pain and heartache, disease , all the things that give the devil access to our lives, I must also state that I’ve not perfected this walk, I’m still learning so many things and I know I’m bound to make mistakes along the way but then again that’s the beauty of God’s grace as we can rest assured that he’s always there even when we fail, there’s still so much to learn and the journey has just begun. Then again what I have been talking about may appear as personal opinion which may be disregarded, however I want us to understand that I’m not dismissing all forms of entertainment, there’s a great deal of genuine Christian movies and series worth watching but it also takes commitment to look for such in our fallen world so if you’re up to the challenge please go ahead but remember that nothing beats immersing yourself in God’s word and letting God speak to you as the spirit reveals his nature in you.
For anyone reading this, I pray that God will personally speak to you so much that you’ll find the conviction to respond to his voice and do exactly what he tells you without question.