My Life · Relationship with Christ

I Gave God What I Enjoyed & He Gave Me Something Better

Giving up anything that we enjoy is hard to do, but when it goes against God, we don’t really have much choice. Well…we do…if we want it to be about ourselves.

There is a lot in my life that I do for me, not God, no matter the excuse. How I am entertained is often one of them. 

23 Minutes in Hell, a book by Bill Wiese was a wake-up call for me, especially in my life.

There were a few YouTubers…okay a handful if not several, that talked about inappropriate things (sexual jokes, supernatural stuff like ghosts/mediums, gossip, etc.) Many cursed A LOT. But, then came my excuses, “They’re funny! They’re creative! They have good ideas!”

Every single one of us has been gifted with talents by God, but that does not mean everyone will use it for Him.

When God really spoke to me through the book about Hell and really desiring to draw closer to Him. I knew many of the YouTubers I watched had to go. I knew some YouTubers who didn’t curse, but they shared a lot of supernatural or creepy stories.

There is nothing in scripture that encourages us to focus on death, spirits, or negative events in general. I used to be really focused on murder mysteries, but murder is evil. Knowing the intimate details of how someone was hurt and killed gives me nothing good. It doesn’t reflect Christ. It doesn’t help me help others with Christ. 

There were a lot of things I was interested in purely because I was entertained, that’s why I later posted Are We The Rich Man With Our Entertainment?

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There were shows I really liked maybe even loved because they were well thought out stories. The characters were fleshed out. The backstories were amazing. But there were themes sprinkled throughout with cursing, demons, spirits, nudity, lust, murder, self-power, idols, magic, etc.

I know people may argue that we only give up things when we are convicted. But during this time, something God revealed to me was, WE ARE ALREADY TOLD WHAT TO STAY AWAY FROM IN SCRIPTURE! 

This isn’t to say we won’t be convicted in other areas as we draw close to the Lord, but we do not need more conviction to know certain things are wrong in scripture. THIS IS AN EXCUSE we give ourselves!

We keep pressing it off like, “Oh, God, give me a sign if You really want me to give this up.” or “Oh, well, it only happens occasionally, it’s NOT THAT BAD!” 

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Do you know how frogs are boiled? (Stay with me, I know it’s a weird transition)

The water is slowly turned up on them so they become accustomed to it. They don’t notice the gradual changes or warning signs. By the time they are aware, it’s too late.

What are we pushing off that we don’t think is a big deal? 

When I first gave up these YouTubers who were and are funny, creative, have good ideas, or interesting stories…my flesh fought me for days and some weeks ahead. “It’s just a video,” I’d tell myself, “God is worth more than this.” But I missed being entertained by these people. I missed the stories and characters from shows I gave up. I was sad, yes sad, that I had to give up these people and episodes. But God deserves better, and I knew that.

During this time, He taught me so much about what it meant to deny our flesh. It hurts at first, sometimes a lot. It doesn’t mean we’re a bad Christian for having this reaction. It means we are saying no to our flesh and selfish desires. It means we are denying what is trying to get us to deny Christ. 

(NIV) Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

Most modern family shows I can’t watch because the elements aren’t really family friendly in a Christian sense. But God has provided older tv shows I actually like. Strangely enough, there have been a lot of Christian movies added to the services I use, and at some point, I’ll probably invest in PureFlix (like Netflix, but pure movies). 

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And the YouTubers I gave up? Steadily, God has been providing Christian YouTubers for me. He has encouraged me and helped me to listen to more sermons online, and I have. In fact, now I’m sensitive when videos take God’s name in vain.  I’ve cut out YouTubers who simply take God’s name in vain. It bothers me when I hear His name taken in vain, and it at one point it didn’t because the world takes His name in vain at the drop of a hat, they don’t care. But He’s my Savior! I care!

He has been teaching me so much about temptation and how we sometimes see only the big temptations we want to get rid of. However, we can’t do that when we are exposed to other things. To us, they may appear to be smaller, and not mean as much like tv shows, music, books, or podcasts we listen to. But they hold great value and strength over us.

I gave up things in my life that I thought I couldn’t give up, but God helped me. He helped me see how fleeting these things are. How though, in the moment, these things may be difficult and may be hard because I have less in common with people, it’s worth it. Giving up what is not Christlike helps me be an example, it truly draws me closer to Christ and makes my life all about Him. It gives Him glory and He absolutely deserves it!

I’ve found more freedom in Christ because I’m not partaking of the world. I’m not constantly hearing swearing, tempted with lust, or focused on negativity like gossip, judgment, and darkness (murder, ghosts, etc.). Personally, I’ve experienced less negative thoughts and anxiety, and it’s wonderful.

This post isn’t meant to force anyone to feel guilty about what you watch or listen to. But I want you to ask yourself, “Is what I am exposing myself to through watching, listening, or even playing, is it truly Christlike, does it stand for what Christ stood for, could it tempt me with deception and sin?” And if anything you watch or listen to does go against Christ please consider how that affects your walk with Him. Even if it seems small… one day a seed becomes a tree. Everything adds up in our life. 

(NIV) John 12:25, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Song Inspiration: Ready To Be Myself by David Dunn

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If you are interested in me writing more about this, please let me know 🙂

Monthly Scripture – (NIV) 2 Corinthians 4:02, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

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30 thoughts on “I Gave God What I Enjoyed & He Gave Me Something Better

  1. T R, thank you so much! There isn’t much in entertainment these days that’s edifying but I do think there are a few wholesome movies especially the Christian brothers that produced Fireproof and Courageous. It’s funny you used the frog analogy, because I used the same one in my podcast in reference to my injury. I do think keeping a pure heart and our minds on the Lord like in Philippians 4:8 is a constant battle for Christians of this age. Much love.🤗❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. One of my favorite movies is Facing the Giants, this was before they made Fireproof and Courageous. War Room was good. I’m grateful for inspirational and true stories. Wow, how amazing we used the same analogy! It’s a powerful one!

      This modern age is definitely trying but praise God He is stronger, He never changes, and does not budge. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am still working on giving up what I am convicted of. I had to give up Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU. I missed the characters and for moths I toyed with the ideas. I eventually caved on Criminal Minds and instead of streaming it (because suddenly, ironically I had no extra money to stream it LOL) I checked it out on dvd fro the library. Ironically (again– not so ironic) my dvd player broke right in the middle of it. It seems like every couple months God convicts e of a new thing to give up. Right now He is working on my character.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is powerful what He will move our spirit to be aware of and show us what we need to give up. I hear you about things breaking or not going the way we expect. It’s like whole red flags pop up. May you be encouraged to keep following through with where He leads you!! It isn’t easy for sure, but praise His name, He is 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. So glad you brought this up. This is something I’ve had on my heart. I use to struggle with lustful thoughts and I realized that it had very much to do with what I was watching. Movies nowadays seem to have alot to sexual content and it’s just so terrible! So I have stopped watching anything that has sexual content, and little by little I have moved away from shows that do the same. Proverbs 4:23 says; Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
    The issues we deal with have a root cause which usually stems from the heart. Guarding our hearts and minds from deception, manipulation and temptations are important because the enemy will use anything to try and deter us from God’s will for our lives. We’re all a working progress in our journeys with Christ. But if we’re not careful, anything we put above God as important or valuable can become an idol. Which then can lead to warping our minds and sinful behavior. That’s why it’s important to always be mindful and aware of what we are doing and whether or not it’s bringing glory and honor to God.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amen, soo true! I think our selfishness is the root idol and that’s why it is hard to identify in movies, shows, videos, books, music, etc. We like it and we struggle to give it up for God.

      It’s so awesome you said roots because I’m planning on doing a post on tempation and talking about our roots (like a plant). It is powerful how we submit one thing to the Lord and He gives us the strength to admit and identify others.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Praise the Lord, Jesus!! I was praying He would speak to those who needed to it. I’m so grateful this spoke to you. It isn’t at first especially, but He equips us. We have to deny our flesh, that’s the hard part. God be with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, T.R. The scriptures instruct us to take up our cross daily and follow (obey) Jesus and to daily put to death, by the Spirit, the deeds of our flesh. We are all maturing at different levels, but none of us have arrived. We are all a work in progress. The important thing is that we not resist the Spirit of God when he prompts us to stop something and that we keep obeying the Lord when he reveals these things to us.

    I have had to learn many of the things you are now learning, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have further to go. I do. We all do until the day the Lord takes us home. And we can learn from each other, too, no matter how old or how young we are. I learn a lot from you, so thank you for being here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen! Everyone is at different levels. What God shows one may be different from another. I was encouraged to press believers to know scriptures are clear already on what we should stray from and media often blurs a lot of lines. But it is Christ who leads hearts ultimately, not me, and praise the Lord He is in charge and discplines His kids, not man. ❤

      What a blessing to know no matter how far we come, there will be more to gain and give up through Christ 🙂 I'm so glad sharing things with you can bless you, praise God!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoyed this. Sometimes I think I am the only one lol. I used to ALWAYS LOVE murder/mystery shows and movies. CSI, criminal minds were my top two lol but over time I started feeling a tug on my heart that those shows weren’t what God wanted for me. Over time it became easier, now I don’t even think twice about it. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! That was another great show! But I can totally relate … I wasn’t so much into reality shows but I did watch the medium one and once I started shifting from tv I eventually found myself just diving deep into books by Christian writers and the Bible which has in turn helped me to grow in many ways so like the title, when God takes away, He has something better in store for us ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  6. So important! Now that I have moved to listening to Christian music every time I drive, the bad morals and vapidity of secular music is so stark when I hear it, and I really don’t miss that kind of music anymore. Seems like everyone I know is hooked on murder mystery documentaries but I avoid them for the reasons you listed. I’ve gotten to the point where I barely watch Netflix b/c most of it is a waste of time and immoral. I completely turned away from the toxic political scene and have since realized how many Youtubers I watched are spreading terrible messages–gossiping about, degrading, condemning a person or entire groups of people.

    Looking back a couple year to the times of initiating in all these things, my sense of peace and purpose has improved exponentially!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is amazing how when we step away from the things of this world we are engulfed in His light and truth!!! I’m so glad you can relate!!!! I really like story times and I’ve had to give up so many Youtubers because the stories often were full of what you listed.

      Liked by 1 person

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