Views

I have been thinking about writing on this topic of views, specifically my view on TV and movies, for a long time. I want to write clearly what I think without sounding legalistic or judgmental. What I want to share is just as much a story of God working in my heart as it is my personal conviction about a form of entertainment.

If you know me, you know that I'm fairly proud of the fact that my family hasn't ever had TV, so I didn't watch it growing up, and I'm not planning to start. When I consider that, by rough calculations, most people spend over three and a half years of their lives watching commercials alone, and when I consider what is being broadcast not only on programs but also on the split seconds of a channel you happen to surf past, I am sickened. That aside, though, not watching TV has given me countless more hours (or, more accurately, years) to live, and for that I am so thankful.

Movies used to be another story. My first few years of college, I was a movieholic. I rented movies (yes, plural, on average) every week and went to watch in theaters whatever new movies looked interesting. Often movie watching involved a friend or two; always it was fun and a "break" from life, a different reality.

I spent a semester at Spring Arbor University, moved back home, and no longer craved movies.

It didn't dawn on me that there might be any specific reason why my addiction of sorts so completely disappeared. But then one day I suddenly distinctly remembered one evening at SAU, and remembered that I wrote my heart on paper:
. . . once again I walked by myself to my room -- alone. [My roommate] is gone for the weekend, as usual, and so there's no one here. I had dinner and thought a movie would cheer me up, but nothing would -- I started two different movies, but the ache just got worse . . .
     ~ October 2, 2010 journal excerpt
Whether I knew it at the time or not, I realized movies didn't satisfy.

I realized, too, thinking more about it, that movie content for the most part was not any less sickening than TV. It is ridiculous sometimes what gets slipped into even G-rated films. It is content I do not want filling my mind, no matter how many people say it's "not that bad". And I know that line; I watched plenty of movies that needed that excuse. Now I see the danger and the deception. I am disappointed in myself for movies I watched, for content that was not beneficial and sometimes harmful, worldly.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
      ~ 1 John  2:15
I'm not saying that anyone who loves or just enjoys movies or TV "loves the world". I still enjoy watching a good movie every now and then. But I do think that as a follower of Christ I need to be aware of what I listen to, the messages and images I'm reading and seeing, and think seriously about whether it is edifying and whether it is going to be or become a stumbling block to myself . . . or to others watching me. For myself, TV and movies are out ninety-nine percent of the time.

Again, content aside, I really don't want to look back on my life and wish I hadn't wasted years watching movies (or TV). Time itself, and the realization that it rushes past, seemingly often cures habits that waste it. I want to redeem time. I want to live every moment that God gives me, learning to become more like Christ every day, and walk as He walked, and be heavenly minded.

So if you ask me if I want to hang out and watch a movie (or TV), or go to the theaters (to that you may get a blank look), I will likely suggest playing games or going on a walk or dinner out or just grabbing coffee (albeit I am not a coffee drinker) and having a conversation.

It's okay. I'm still human.

But I am also a new creation, and God is ever-changing me, and part of that process has been His unrelenting seeking of my heart to sync it more and more to His own.

Whatever it takes. Weird looks from the world and all.

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