watching, reading, and writing stories

The Christian’s Line for Entertainment

on January 30, 2014

I had a long conversation the other day about where to draw the line when it comes to participating in entertainment. As a Christian, I care about what I put into my mind and what I let my eyes see. But I also want to be able to connect with the people around me, and sometimes that means watching a movie together, or discussing a TV program.

Children, Tv, Child, Television, Home, People, Boy

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As I thought about it, I developed the idea of a line, with the middle being where you would ideally stay. At one extreme of the the line there’s some pretty obvious things that a Christian should not be looking at, like sex, porn, black magic, sorcery, that kind of stuff. My standard for what I allow myself to watch in this area rests on how it makes me feel. If the scenes, (whether it involves magic, sex, or bad language) is making me feel uncomfortable, or if I feel guilty after watching it, I try to avoid seeing them. I think what you allow yourself to watch can vary from person to person, but no one should do what they “feel” is wrong. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

In the middle of our line we have a basic enjoyment of some kind of entertainment, with no feelings of guilt or obsession.

But if you keep going towards the other end of the line, you can start to idolize the entertainment that you’re enjoying. In the past I thought of “fangirls” as simply being people who enjoy a certain actor or show or whatever and I didn’t see anything wrong with it. But as I thought about it more, “fangirling” can easily become idol worship where the thing that is so exciting has become what your life is all about.

I think this side of the extremes goes more easily unnoticed to Christians. We immediately notice if a show or book has “sex scenes” in it, or bad language. But do we also notice if our enjoyment of some kind of entertainment has gotten out of hand? I’ve definitely been caught in this, making my whole day revolve around the show that comes on at 7, or the movie that’s finally coming out.

It’s a good idea to remind ourselves not to slip in either direction and to keep a balanced life, with our focus strictly on the Lord.

I think this verse sums it up well; “Everything is permissible for me”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” – but I will not be mastered by anything. -1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV

Whatever I allow myself to watch, I want it to be beneficial, and something that won’t start to control me.


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