Update: April 19th, 2021 – There were a few sentences that needed edited. More clarity to some sentences has been added.
“Not all people have the same convictions.”
Something that God will want us to give up, He may not have someone else give up. That is the basis of this idea.
The core of it is truthful.
Let’s say someone can play a game in the app store and be done in a few minutes, versus someone who spends hours at a time playing the same game. Self-control is needed so the game may have to be given up. Some convictions are indeed separate. Someone may be convicted to give up having a television in their home. This does not mean everyone has to.
What God may reveal is a sin for one it may not be a sin for another. However, here is where it gets tricky. A lot of people when thinking of these convictions will have a discussion on secular media, television, movies, books, music, etc.
But the argument for being exposed to something that has cursing, blasphemy, and nudity in it, simply because someone has not been convicted yet, and they are okay with those choices…is not good enough.
We have to be able to defend every single action and choice to the Lord.
(NIV) Ecclesiastes 12:14, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
(NLT) Romans 14:12, “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.”
Just because we may be okay watching a show that is not wholesome does not mean He is okay with it. Plain and simple. We can’t argue something He is against and try to justify it because we will lose.
(NLT) 1 John 2:15, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”
Cursing is a sin.
(ESV) Colossians 3:08, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”
Looking at someone who is naked or with exposed skin is a sin. Scripture shares how nakedness must be covered, and how we should not uncover/see the nakedness of others.
(NIV) Genesis 3:07, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
(NIV) Matthew 5:28, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Taking the Lord’s name in vain is a sin, one I think we are almost desensitized to in secular media because of how often this occurs out of everyone’s mouth.
Reality tv is often focused on taking sides. Loving certain people and not caring for others. Gossip and drama are huge.
Yet, at the end of the day, it is not wholesome. Though our ears and eyes itch with curiosity and the temptation for more, it is not about being Christlike.
I keep reading about how we are to give up the world. I see the scriptures constantly talk about being focused wholly on Christ. Entertainment, most of the time, is about self and encouraging sinful behaviors and thoughts.
We simply accept it. We don’t want to believe it has an influence on us. But this is where we fall into temptation. We walk into the snare willingly.
(NIV) 1 John 2:16, “For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.”
I don’t think all secular media is bad, but 99% of it…yeah. Sin is soaked in it.
As someone who recently gave up a lot of shows, movies, and YouTubers I used to watch, it is hard to be accountable to all of the things of this world we expose ourselves to. It’s like the more I see, the more I understand what scripture means to be set apart.
(NIV) Colossians 3:05, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
We are told to have a disconnect from the world. If we truly believe we are a follower of Him, then whatever He would not partake of, we can’t either. It does not matter how small it is. I’m struggling with the truth of this, it is not easy to realize.
But it is the truth.
It is not about knowing what shows, books, movies, trends, or music the world is fascinated by. We must not care about these things.
I don’t want to wait for the Lord to constantly prick my spirit AFTER knowing the truth and denying it. I don’t want to defend things like Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Fifty Shades Of Grey, Twilight, The Bachelor, etc to God. If it is not focused on Him and His glory, we need to question the material, not how desensitized we are.
My Own Struggle With Media
If you want to follow Him, be willing to examine everything in your life in light of what scripture says. When I started looking at media and what I allowed in my life, it started with The Golden Girls. It was humorous, witty, and clever. But there was name-calling, cursing, there was sex, there was God’s name being taken in vain, and so many other things.
I watched a gamer YouTuber and he was very funny, but he cursed so much and took God’s name in vain and Christ’s name in vain so often. He was not the only one. Many YouTubers did the same thing. They are smart, funny, and very creative with captivating material.
I was enjoying the content. I was entertained. I would watch drama channels on YouTube keeping me up to date on other YouTubers and drama that was going on. More cursing and blasphemy but also gossip. Encouraging me to form opinions about people I don’t know in person. Encouraging judgment on actions that people did, especially the wrong ones.
Is it right for me to say that because I didn’t feel convicted that I am exempt from exposing myself to these sinful things?
(NIV) Mark 7:21, “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come–sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
No, I am not exempt.
I’m realizing the things I gave up watching, in particular, my curiosity grows and begs to learn what has happened next. That is the flesh desiring pleasure. It does not matter if a story is well-written. It does not matter if something is creative or eye-catching. Not when it goes in front of God, mocks Him, and His ways.
And I have the nerve to say, “Well, He “didn’t” convict me yet, it’s okay.”
How dare I.
Allowing the outside to desensitize me. Putting my fault on the Lord saying IF He is against it He will convict me. HE ALREADY WARNED ME! Wake up, church!
The Lord convicts, however, sin makes us desire to reject Him and HIs convictions! We must take responsibility and be accountable for our actions. If we truly love Him, we will go to Him. Through prayer, supplication, and reading His word. Our eyes can be open to the sin we allow in our life that blinds us.
Questions To Ask:
- Why do I watch people who curse my Savior, Who bled and died so I could live in eternity?
- Why do I think it’s okay to look at the nakedness of others simply because it’s a tv show or movie?
- Why do I think it’s okay to listen to profanity?
- How do these things prepare me for eternity?
- Do they point me to Christ or away from Him?
What we allow in our life, does it make us ashamed of Christ? We love our shows. We love our gossip. We love our music. We love our pleasure and our gain.
We either participate with evil or turn away. That is what it means to give up the world. This is what He is teaching me.
(NIV) Luke 13:27, “And He will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from Me, all you who do evil.'”
Cling To What Is Good, Eternity Depends On It
For what is it worth, everyone, God convicted me, too, while writing this.
Monthly Scripture, (NIV) John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
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Second Blog: Peeking Beneath