I hardly know where to start in revealing this, but here goes …
For many years now I’ve not been much of a television watcher. Michael was always in charge of the remote control and that was usually OK with me. The occasional shows I was interested in watching were recorded and watched while I was on the treadmill. But in the last year there’s lots more time to fill and no one to relinquish the remote to. So I’ve been watching more TV than usual.
I’ve kept up with the few series that I’ve been watching for a while now. And a new cable package has allowed me to see several movies that I missed in the theatres. The kids have recommended several good series. And services like Netflix and Hulu have allowed me to “binge watch” so I could catch up with past seasons. Most of the things I’ve found have been pretty good, with a few exceptions. And even the regular network shows today stretch the boundaries pretty far when it comes to acceptable family entertainment.
There’s one series I’ve heard about for a while now. I’d never seen it and didn’t know much about it other than it was getting a lot of press and awards. I asked one of my kids about it, who told me they had watched a few episodes but found it so objectionable that they quit.
Well, being the adult/grown-up/parent that I am I thought I’d check it out for myself. So I started to watch. I watched several episodes each night for about a week to get through the first season. Before long I was several weeks into Season 2. This particular series tells the story of its characters in all sorts of immoral situations and alternate lifestyle relationships. So you can imagine not only the story line but the vocabulary that was being used.
After about a week of watching the show nightly, one morning I woke up to something strange. Even before I got out of bed that morning, I was hearing certain words in my head. Words from the dialogue of this show. Words that aren’t a part of my normal vocabulary. Words that I know none of you have ever heard me say. I was puzzled. Even as I went through my day, when different situations would arise, the first thing I would hear in my head were these words. But would I be deterred? NO! The next night I continued to watch a few more episodes.
Again, the next morning, the same thing happened. In my head, a barrage of words I would never speak out loud. Well, finally, I began to get the message. This show had to go. I was being directly affected by what my ears were hearing and my eyes were seeing. Throughout the day I heard the words. That night – no more episodes of this series. The next morning, I was still hearing the words, but not with as much strength or frequency. Within a few days, they were gone.
Now here’s the kicker: I know better. I know what God says in His word about keeping ourselves pure and holy; about being set apart from this world and its effects. I know that what I put in through my eyes and ears affects my heart and mind. I know that I’m created to reflect the image of God, not to be a part of the crowd followers in our society. And yet still I watched hours of this “entertainment” somehow thinking I would be unaffected. What a fool!
So, since I don’t have anyone here to keep me accountable, I’m confessing to you. To keep me accountable. To keep me reminded that my flesh is weak and I’m easily coaxed into believing I know better than God when it comes to what I should allow in my life.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10