In our home, we only subscribe to cable tv service for a few months out of the year- during college football season for my dear husband. And every year, I inevitably face the same struggle: getting sucked in to watching tv programs that are not edifying. In fact, if I’m really honest, they’re not just “not edifying”, they are downright harmful for my spiritual growth.
Something happens each August as our tv fires back up. In the first few weeks, I am appalled at the lewdness of the new commercials and at the baseness of the new tv shows that have begun in the past year. We can all probably agree that the networks are having to push the limits of “drama” in order to outdo each other. But as time goes on each fall, I become a little numb to the sexual innuendo. All of the catfights and materialism on reality tv shows don’t faze me quite as much, and I find my spiritual conscience “tuning out” while I’m tuning in to these programs.
This year, the Lord has really begun to speak to my heart about what type of food I feed my soul. Just like I don’t feed our family junk food for dinner, I shouldn’t be feeding my soul junk either. Whether we see the effects immediately or not, those types of programs do become part of us in some way. Maybe we begin to covet the material goods of the characters on the show. Maybe we begin to obsess about beauty, or we crave the apparent “glitz and glamour” lifestyle portrayed on these shows. Many times, these changes creep in slowly, but before we know it, we find ourselves absent from or resentful of our real life while we are consumed with the apparent beauty of another’s life. I remember one night when the effect took hold of me immediately. After months of not watching tv, I watched a program about the life of celebrities. Within twenty minutes, I remember having the thought, “I need to get new makeup, new clothes and I need to lose weight”. Whoa! Before the program, I was perfectly content with my wardrobe and makeup (I’m still working on accepting my body). But I was shocked at the strength of my desire for these things. I could only imagine how pleased God would have been if I was studying the Bible that night and had a sudden thought that, “I need to forgive so-and-so, and be kinder to my husband and to serve my family more.” What a difference!
As we all go about our lives this week, let’s encourage each other to resist the temptation to watch programs that don’t build us up or shows that glorify evil. Maybe we can make a pact with a friend or our husbands to refrain from certain programs. Not only will we be encouraging each other’s spiritual growth, but we will then have an accountability partner too! In the place of tv programs, we can pick up a book, or listen to an audiobook, or even a podcast. I have found immense treasures on podcasts- and besides lifting me up spiritually, they are free!
Be with us all as we go forward this week. Show us ways to resist temptation and help us find ways to serve You and those You have placed in our lives. Speak to our hearts and protect us from the evils around us. Help us to turn our hearts fully toward You. I pray You give us all a distaste for worldly tv and movies, and that we would find them utterly unsatisfying when we do tune in. Help our lives to bring glory to You in all we do. We love You Lord and desire nothing but the best of what You have to offer. Amen
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8