In today’s world, it’s easy to be ensnared by the plethora of negative content that surrounds us 24/7 in every form of media. It can be tempting to indulge in watching TV shows or movies with explicit content, scrolling through social media feeds filled with gossip and drama, or even seeking out violent and disturbing videos online.
But as Christians, what does the Bible say about consuming such things?
What We Watch Has an Influence
Consider Philippians 4:8 (NIV), “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This verse instructs us to focus our minds on things of a positive, uplifting nature.
Let’s delve a little deeper and tell the story of King David, a man after God’s own heart. Despite his devotion, David fell into sin by watching Bathsheba, an act which would not have occurred had he refrained from the wrongful gaze (2 Samuel 11:2-4). David’s story serves as a sobering reminder that the things we choose to look at have influence and can lead us down the path of sin.
In Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV), Jesus teaches us, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” This passage illuminates the significance of what we allow our eyes to consume.
Just as a healthy eye allows light to enter and illuminate the body, a spiritually unhealthy eye can lead us into darkness.
Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV), we are reminded to “do everything for the glory of God.” This includes what we choose to watch. Our entertainment choices should reflect our desire to honor and glorify God. Watching bad things not only goes against this principle, but it also desensitizes us to sin and can ultimately harm our relationship with God.
Being Discerning and Setting Boundaries
That being said, it’s important to have discernment when it comes to our media consumption. Not all forms of entertainment are inherently bad or sinful. It is up to each individual to determine what they feel is appropriate for them based on biblical teachings and personal conviction.
It can also be beneficial to set boundaries for ourselves in regards to what we allow ourselves to watch. This could mean avoiding certain genres or setting limits on screen time and prioritizing more wholesome forms of entertainment. It’s crucial to regularly evaluate our media choices and make adjustments as needed.
Ultimately, what we choose to watch is a reflection of our hearts and where our priorities lie. As Christians, it is important for us to constantly strive towards aligning our lives with biblical principles, including what we choose to consume through media.
How to Choose What We Watch Wisely
So, what does the Bible say about choosing media wisely? In Colossians 3:17 (NIV), we are urged to “whatever [we] do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” This verse encourages us to be intentional and mindful in everything we consume, including media.
As Christians, it’s important to remember that our relationship with God should be at the forefront of all our choices, including what we choose to watch. Let us strive to focus our minds on things that are pleasing to God and follow His word.
But what about the argument that watching bad things can be a means of evangelism or understanding the world? While we are called to be in the world, we are not called to partake in its sinful ways (John 17:15-16). We are to be set apart and holy, not conforming to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2).
As Christians, we must carefully consider what we allow into our minds and hearts. Philippians 4:8 urges us to think on things that are excellent and praiseworthy, not things that can lead us astray.
The Bible constantly encourages us to guard our minds and hearts by being discerning about what we choose to watch. We are called to focus on that which is good, true, and honorable.
Let Psalm 101:3 (NIV) be our guide, “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.” So, may we also strive to hate what is evil and instead choose to fill our minds with goodness, truth, and righteousness. Let us keep our eyes fixed on God and His Word, for it is only in Him that we will find true satisfaction and peace.
1. Can Christians watch any type of TV or movie?
As mentioned before, it is up to each individual Christian to discern what they feel is appropriate for them based on biblical teachings and personal conviction. It’s important to be mindful of the messages and values being portrayed in media and make wise choices accordingly.
2. What should I do if I have already watched bad things?
If you have already consumed media that goes against biblical teachings, the best course of action is to repent and receive forgiveness from God – Don’t run from Him! He knows, simply approach Him and receive. We can also seek accountability and support from fellow believers to help us make better choices in the future.
3. Is it okay to watch violent or disturbing movies for entertainment purposes?
As stated earlier, it’s important to have discernment and set boundaries for ourselves when it comes to media consumption. While some may argue that watching violent or disturbing movies can help us understand the world or be a means of evangelism, as Christians we must remember our call to not conform to the ways of this world and instead focus on things that are honorable and pleasing to God.
4. Can Christians watch movies or TV shows with non-Christian themes or messages?
This is another area where personal discernment and conviction come into play. It’s important to remember that our entertainment choices should still reflect our desire to honor and glorify God, so we must carefully consider the messages and values being portrayed in media before consuming it.
Ultimately, as Christians we are called to be mindful and intentional in all that we choose to watch. So let us keep our eyes fixed on God and His Word, and may our entertainment choices be a reflection of our devotion and love for Him. Let’s strive to use media as a tool for growth and edification rather than a stumbling block in our faith journey.