What Are You Meditating On?
Throughout my childhood up until my early adult years, I did not have any particular standards on what movies or television programs I would watch or books I would read. As long as I found it enjoyable, I didn’t see the need to filter. As I enjoyed most things, I spent countless hours watching everything from classic movies to modern-day romances, from sitcoms to crime dramas, and everything in-between.
I especially enjoyed scary movies. I probably have seen most of the horror films made in 1970s-1980s, as well as a ton of classic ones. My favorites were the ones where the critter becomes giant or feral (usually because of exposure to toxic waste).
Sometime in my late 20s, I clearly heard the Lord tell me to stop watching anything horror. It’s been so long, I can’t even remember the exact circumstances in which I heard Him tell me this. But from that point on, I have not watched horror movies. If I am watching something and it starts to be scary or resemble horror, I turn it off.
From the moment the Lord told me to stop watching horror movies until now, there have been countless times He has prompted me to stop watching or reading something. Sometimes, it’s abundantly clear why He wants me to quit. Other times, the reason isn’t apparent to me. But I have learned to trust His gentle promptings. There are a number of movies, tv series, and books out there that I have only made it part way through and I have no idea how they end!
The same goes for music I grew up enjoying a variety of musical styles, but for many years I mostly listen to Christian music. The last few years, it’s been mostly worship.
I’m at a point where I am almost completely out of touch with modern entertainment. I don’t know the latest musical artists, I couldn’t tell you anything about what is popular on TV right now, and I go to the movies once every few years. And you know? I am totally okay with that!
The point of me sharing all of this with you has nothing to do with showing how wonderful I am. I wanted to share what the Lord has done through this.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
The word meditate in the verse means, “to consider, take account, weigh, think about.”
1 Corinthians 6:12
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
I have found that the more I watch or listen to things that are not noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtuous, or praiseworthy, the more my thoughts are turned towards them during the day and I am discontent, anxious, irritable, and sometimes downright angry. Time spent on thinking on these things means less time I spend thinking of the Lord. This inevitably leads to me hearing the Lord less because my head is crowded with other things.
I realize that my stance may seem extreme. But I have filled my head with enough garbage over my lifetime to know the distraction it provides and the damage it does to my walk with the Lord.
Friends, I am not telling you what to watch or listen to. The line may be different for you. But I am challenging you to reflect upon whether you should be entertaining yourself with certain things.
Some things to consider about your entertainment:
· Do you spend more time thinking about a movie, book, or tv show than you do about the Lord?
· Are you listening to or singing lyrics that celebrate things that go against God’s Word?
· Can you quote lines from your favorite book or show, but can’t quote God’s Word?
· Are you finding that you are more stressed, irritable, or anxious?
Ask the Lord! He will show you. Maybe He will call you to small steps, like reducing the amount of time spent on these things or increasing the amount of time you spend with Him. Maybe it will be more drastic, like cutting out certain forms of entertainment. It may seem difficult in the beginning, but ask and He will help you. Regardless, I promise you that you will see the fruit in your life if you continue!
Walk worthy, my friends!