11/11/09

7 Questions to Examine Entertainment Biblically

Evaluating our entertainment involves a lot more than the simple movie and television rating systems or family-friendly book, magazine, and music guides. It’s not simply a question of “too much violence,” “too much bad language,” or “too much sex”—although those certainly are good places to start!

Christians must use biblical principles to evaluate and discern the worth of entertainment. We are called to a higher standard than the world uses. A higher standard doesn’t mean we have a “holier than thou” attitude, but it does mean we are called to holiness, integrity, and good character. Believe me, I struggle with this as much as anyone, and I sometimes fail in my “free time” choices. I’m not calling for legalism, but for honest evaluation. I know that I do better when I ask myself the following questions—and I offer them for your consideration.

1. Will this make me more or less sensitive to the things of God?
God does not want me to conform to the world, but to be transformed; and that is hard to do if I call evil “good.” (Rom. 12:2; Isa. 5:20)
2. Will this help me glorify God and grow spiritually?
Will it help me “walk worthy” of the Lord, fully pleasing Him? Will this dishonor God in any way? (Col. 1:10; 1 Cor. 10:31-32a)
3. Is this pure, healthy, wise input?
I must be careful what I allow into my mind and view with my eyes. Wisdom avoids even the appearance of evil. (Phil. 4:8; Ps. 101:3; 1 Thess. 5:21-22).
4. Will this change my worldview?
I will eventually become what I think about. God wants me to have a strong biblical perspective, not a worldly, ungodly, or self-absorbed mindset. (Prov. 23:7a)
5. Am I using my resources wisely and well?
I say, “I am not my own; I am bought with a price,” but do I live like that is true? God gives me a brain to think and plan, but I need to pray about my choices, because Jesus is my Lord. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
6. Is this a good use of my time?
There’s nothing wrong with relaxation and wholesome recreation—in fact, I need that—but God wants me to be careful with how I use my down-time. (Eph. 5:16)
7. Do I understand that I am accountable to God?
(2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 1:10) And others may be watching—will this cause someone else to stumble into sin?

The choices we make about our entertainment have consequences. I’m grateful for God’s forgiveness when I choose poorly, but I want to become more sensitive to His leading, not less. Don’t you? May we guard our eyes and thoughts as we ask tough questions and build stronger safeguards into our lives (Prov. 4:23; 1 Peter 5:8).

For more help in making wise choices, see "Seven Cs for Making Wise Choices," "Reasons, Not Excuses," and "Not Choosing Blindly."

2 comments:

Marja said...

Thanks Dawn for another great post! Very practical and useful.

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Marja. Not a popular topic, but needful.