Media and Entertainment, Part 2
June 19, 2021
Sean and his parents love one another and their neighbors. In fact, they are outstanding members of their church. Everyone seems to love them. Sean and his parents like to do things together, and each night they make sure they gather around the TV and watch the most popular and entertaining shows. They have even talked about trying out together for one of those shows in which you do crazy things, like eat bugs, to get a cash prize.
Interestingly, because Sean and his parents watch TV together, they kind of know what the others like. For instance, when Sean wanted a new MP3 player, they knew exactly the one to get. The same thing worked for Sean when it was time to purchase gifts for his parents. Actually, they were so good at knowing what the other family members wanted, they had a tendency to indulge in gifts too often.
After a while Sean and his family were in a pretty serious situation when it came to their finances. It turned out that they were watching so much media, and being exposed to so much stuff they thought they “had to have,” that they started to make poor decisions about what they really needed. They were seeing the “latest and greatest” thing and deciding that they had to have each thing that was advertised.
They decided that they had been sort of tricked into it because they had become so familiar with the people on the shows that the characters seemed like “friends.” And friends wouldn’t try to sell you something you didn’t need. Would they?
After taking a hard look at their situation, Sean and his folks decided that very little that came out of their television was anything but advertising and trying to sell them something. Even the shows were trying to sell an image or an idea of the way things should be. This family decided to fast from the media for a while. Good news! They are now doing much better than they were before when buying too much stuff.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Memory Text: “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’” (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).
Our Beliefs, no. 22, Christian Behavior: “We are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 24-27
Read 1 John 2:15-17.
You are in the music store, and you see the newest CD by your favorite artist. You have been waiting for a long time for this artist to come out with a new CD, and you can’t wait to listen to it. You have heard the first single from the CD, and you really like it. You have made the decision not simply to download the CD—even though it is readily available online.
So, with your US$15 plus, you go to pick it up. However, you find out that there are questionable lyrics included on the CD. What would you do?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:6.
God asks us to be different from the world in order that we may reflect His character. Life is precious, and we are to make a difference in the way we live. Our habits, our choices, our attitudes, everything we do and say, needs to be in harmony with the life of Christ.
How do the things you do, listen to, and watch reflect the life of Christ?
Fill in the blanks. The text is from the New King James Version.
“Therefore be of as dear children. And in, as Christ also has us and Himself for us, an and a to God for a sweet-smelling” (Ephesians 5:1, 2).
Read 1 Corinthians 10:23.
You are constantly being faced with choices. From what food to eat for lunch to what show to spend your time watching. Obviously there are shows that are not worthy of your time. Often we don’t think of our time as valuable. That is seen when we spend a majority of our time watching and listening to things that are not uplifting.
Just because something is entertaining does not mean it is something we should be watching. Most of the time the good doesn’t outweigh the bad when sifting through different media in order to find the redeeming qualities. Yet what is objectionable is toxic even if taken in very small quantities. Have you ever asked yourself if it is worth risking your salvation in exchange for a little entertainment?
“[The true followers of Christ] will shun places of worldly amusement because they find no Jesus there—no influence which will make them heavenly-minded and increase their growth in grace” (Ellen G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 328).
Match the following text with the verse. All verses are from the New King James Version.
|2.||Philippians 1:9, 10|
|3.||2 Corinthians 10:7|
|7.||1 Corinthians 10:23|
|A.||“ . . . do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father . . .”|
|B.||“Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? . . .”|
|C.||“. . . not all things are helpful . . .”|
|D.||“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”|
|E.||“. . . that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense . . .”|
|F.||“. . . blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.”|
|G.||“. . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect . . .”|
Read Colossians 3:17.
Review the memory text.
Take your three favorite CDs, go to where your parents are, and open up the covers and show them the lyrics. Better yet, go listen to the CDs with your parents. Can you honestly do that? Can you truthfully give them the music you listen to so that they can evaluate it with you rather than without your ideas about it? This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. This is where you see if what you are listening to is something that you feel you should listen to.
It has been said that as Christians we approach this world with the eyes and ears of Christ. That is a great responsibility. Television, movies, music—they impact our lives every day. You may not think they are all bad. But how do we as Christians evaluate the media? We have to become aware of what God is saying to us. His Word gives us the basis on which to form our values. Then our values guide us in deciding what we can should watch and what we should not watch; what we will and what we won’t expose ourselves to. What does it have to do with you? They are your eyes and ears, but they also belong to Christ. Think about it . . .
“There is great need of temperance in amusements, as in every other pursuit. And the character of these amusements should be carefully and thoroughly considered” (Ellen G. White, The Adventist Home, p. 512).
Read Philippians 1:9, 10.
Log the hours and shows that you usually watch on TV on any given week. How does this chart help you see how you spend some of your time?
|Shows and Times||Saturday||Sunday||Monday||Tuesday||Wednesday||Thursday||Friday|