Media and Entertainment, Part 1
June 12, 2021
Jeff liked TV. His parents worked a lot, and so when he came home from school he would turn on the TV when he did his homework or his chores. When his parents would come home, dinner was usually eaten in front of the TV. After dinner the family would circle around the TV for some “quality time.” This was the way Jeff lived his life, and he really didn’t know there was another way.
When Jeff went to his friend Paul’s after school, his parents were at work too. Jeff noticed the new kind of TV hanging on the wall and asked if they could watch it.
“Maybe after our homework,” Paul said. But soon the homework was completed, since there were no distractions to slow it down. Again Jeff asked about watching the new TV. This time Paul admitted that he was not allowed to watch TV when his parents weren’t home. He explained to the surprised Jeff, “They let me watch only one show a day, and then only if they are home to watch it with me!”
Paul and Jeff did Paul’s chores and then washed up for dinner. At dinner the whole family sat down, and something unusual happened— they began to talk! To one another!
Recently Nielsen took a look at today’s American teen, raised in an age dominated by media choices like never before, from the Internet to cable channels to Web-connected devices galore.
Statistics say that your generation is watching more television and movies than ever before. What can be said about a generation of young people who spends more time on the couch than anywhere else? You don’t have to be part of the majority who choose such a self-destructive lifestyle. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), and you have received from the Creator free will to choose how you live your life. Therefore choose daily to bring honor to God in each decision you make. Choose to feed your mind only with information that will elevate your thoughts and inspire your heart to achieve the great plans that God has for your life. You can do this if you rely only on Him. He will help you avoid and reject everything that is rubbish. If you choose Jesus daily as your guide, you will desire to watch, listen to, say, and do only things that He would want for you. With right choices you will grow closer and closer to God’s ideal for you and to the heart of Jesus.
Memory Text: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2).
Our Beliefs, no. 22, Christian Behavior: “For the Spirit to re-create in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things that will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 25-27
Read 1 Peter 1:13-16.
This week, read over this lesson and then join in the dialogue on entertainment that has been happening on the Real-Time Faith discussion forum. Every section of this lesson gives you plenty to think about and discuss.
Read Ephesians 5:1-21.
Everything we do, everything we see, everything we hear, and everything we say should bring glory to God. We should guard against doing, seeing, hearing, and saying anything that would dishonor Him and weaken our Christian character.
How do our behaviors bring glory to God and reflect our true characters?
Unscramble the following verse. The verse is from the New King James Version. whatever do all do therefore 10 glory you or you whether Corinthians of eat God drink or to the :31
Read Titus 2:11, 12.
An interesting idea exists in the world today. The idea is that somehow we are not connected to the things we put in our minds. We know this is not true when it comes to the things we eat. The poorer our diet, the more unhealthy we become. The same is true when it comes to those things we put in our brains.
You might have seen the commercials about “your brain on drugs.” However, could we ask ourselves the same question about the time we spend on our couches watching TV, as opposed to being outdoors, or working on our minds, bodies, and our relationship with God? I think we can! That means we have a job to do, and that job is to guard ourselves from what the world would have us put in our minds every day.
Sounds tough, and it can be. But it is important for us to try to separate ourselves from the identity that the world would want to give us.
The world, modern media, or whatever you want to call it does not care about you or me! It cares only about itself, and making sure there is enough money to continue itself. That means you have incredible control. All you have to do is decide to “opt out” of what the world wants you to buy. Simply “go on strike” to what the media wants you to identify with. In this way you show them that you are not the mindless drone they think you are. What a blow to the way the media thinks you, a teenager, will react. Wouldn’t it feel nice to show that you have some control over your life?
“Our recreations should not be scenes of senseless mirth, taking the form of the nonsensical” (Ellen G. White, Messages to Young People, p. 364).
Look up the texts and match the verse with the text. All verses are from the New King James Version.
|3.||2 Timothy 2:22|
|A.||“For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp . . .”|
|B.||“out of an unclean . . .”|
|C.||“. . . the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable . . .”|
|D.||“. . . the pure in heart, for they shall see . . .”|
|E.||“. . . pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace . . .”|
|F.||“. . . Why do You look on those who deal treacherously . . .”|
|G.||“ . . . children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse . . .”|
Read Philippians 4:8.
Review the memory text.
The reason this is important to you is that you are in control of what goes into and out of your brain. That’s right! Everything you see, you choose to see. Everything you listen to, you choose to listen to.
This puts a huge responsibility on us to guard ourselves from what the world is selling us. Of course, not all media is bad; however, the questions you need to ask yourself are these: “Do I make the best use of my time, energies, and skills when I watch TV?”; “Do I honor God when I watch that TV show or program?”; “What do I have to gain from choosing that form of entertainment?”; “Does it benefit anyone else if I watch a movie, TV program, video game, etc.?” If you can’t answer these questions, or you have never thought of it them before, then it is time for you to begin to think about them.
The exercise for tomorrow will allow you to break down what it is that the world is trying to give you and what God is trying to give you.
“Your last thought at night, your first thought in the morning, should be of Him in whom is centered your hope of eternal life” (Ellen G. White, Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 666).
Read 2 Corinthians 10:5. Filling out the following lists will help you think about the time you spend with the media and its type of entertainment. Whichever side you fill out first for each section, it will become apparent that the opposite is what goes in the other column.
|What God wants for me||What the world wants for me|
|What God has given me||What the world has given me|
|What following God gives me||What following the world gives me|