Who doesn’t like a little junk food at the movies? For most of us, popcorn and candy go hand-in-hand with going to the show. As we avoid feeding junk food to our souls, here’s the corny acronym I promised. I sincerely pray it helps us all keep our entertainment choices holy.
There are some hard and fast scriptural principles that apply to all of us. We need to know what they are, and then we have to seek the Lord for how the application looks specifically in your life and your family’s life.
Before turning on the television, renting that movie, or buying that ticket, consult an online review (see below).
P Pluggedin.com or dove.org
When reading reviews, read for more than sex and language. Look at the thematic content. Is the entire story line dishonoring God? A great idea I got from my sister is to have your kids read the reviews themselves and tell you why they should be able to see the show.
Take advantage of technology such as ClearPlay, Sky Angel, and TV Guardian to filter out offensive content.
Know what God has to say about the things to which we expose ourselves.
R Round up a home library
Ask friends, do your research, and then begin to collect television shows and movies you and your family can enjoy now and for years to come. Investing in the entire collection of Little House on the Prairie has paid itself back in hours and years of wholesome entertainment.
N Not even named among you
Hold God’s word up to what you want to see. Our standard can’t be what others are doing, even other Christians. Look at everything through God’s lenses.
C Can’t say what’s wrong?
A Ask: What about it glorifies God?
D Don’t go, do, listen, read, see.
Y You won’t regret it; whereas you might if you do.
The Hunger Games. A perfect example of the “What’s wrong with it?” test. It’s the story of a government that throws its teens into an arena to fight to the death for sheer entertainment. The story is fiction, of course. There is no nudity. No inappropriate scenes. No “deal killer” language. None of the biggies that cause me to immediately rule out a movie. My daughter read all the books. All her Christian friends read all the books. I am finishing the books right now. So we went to see the movie, and I left with a lingering uneasiness I couldn’t quite figure out. It wasn’t until I was preparing the corny little acronym above that it hit me: What glorified God about it? Absolutely nothing! Was it a sin to read or see it? I’m still contemplating, seeking God on this. In the process, He’s shown me something in His word.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Every weight. Everything that hinders. Weight that slows us down. Every encumbrance. These are the things that may not be sins, but they keep us from running the race with endurance. The uneasiness I felt after watching Hunger Games weighed heavy on my mind and heart. It slowed me down. Was it a sin? Maybe not. Was it an encumbrance? Yes.
Again and again, thank you, Lord, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I am not here to be your Holy Spirit and give you hard and fast rules to follow in some legalistic attempt to conform our behavior to my or another’s standards. Each of us must know the Word, what He says, and do it. His grace is not an excuse to continue in our sin, yet it is there for us when we do.
My prayer for us is this:
Lord, help us to keep our hearts with all diligence, for out of our hearts spring the issues of life. Help us to put away our deceitful mouths, and put perverse lips far from us. Let our eyes look straight ahead, and our eyelids look right before us. May we ponder the path of our feet, and let all our ways be established. Lord, do not let us turn to the right or the left; help us remove our feet from evil (Proverbs 4:23-27).
May the treats we feed ourselves be for our taste buds only as we become more wholly His today.