Psalms 101:3-4 states, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.” How many of us follow that advice today? Unfortunately, with the advent of television, internet, mobile phones and movies violence and evil are an every day pastime for much of the world today including supposed Christians. Is it any wonder why violence is on the increase? Can we be surprised when people who claim to be followers of Jesus look, talk and act exactly like the world around them? The world is being programmed through the use of media and most of us are fast asleep to its effects.
Negative effects of Television
As I write this article I’m working on a sermon that references the massive impact on our spiritual health that the things we see have on us and our children. We have often been led to believe that there is little to no correlation between what we see and how we act. Even many Christians, who you would think should know better, think nothing of taking in steamy sex scenes and violent action scenes and consider it all harmless fun. As we’ve seen in Psalms 101:3-4, godly men and women must know nothing of evil. How far we are from that practice! I have to ask myself some very hard questions. How much evil am I putting before my eyes? How much are my children exposed to through supposedly harmless G rated movies?
Exposure to Violence Decreases Willingness to Help Others in Need
I came across this research report in Psychological Science that links exposure to violence on television and other media with a decreased willingness to help others in need. They include this stunning graphic that I want to share with you.
What does this mean for anyone who wants to follow Jesus?
Jesus made it clear on earth that it was the merciful who would inherit the kingdom of God. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:6-9 The majority of the content on television, in movies, video games and on the internet are incompatible with the ways of God. We are not to participate in it. We will not win people to God’s way by being like the world. All that that approach will lead to is in our sharing the fate of the world in the end.
Make the decision to watch less media. To be more careful about what you watch and what you let your kids or grand kids watch. Take time for more wholesome activities. Your family, your friends and your relationship with God will thank you.