The DVR Dilemmas

Posted on September 27, 2011. Filed under: Culture, Entertainment, In the News | Tags: , , , , , , , |


Kicking Television

Image by dhammza / off via Flickr

It’s that time of year again. A time of year when your DVR proves it’s worth – tis the season for season premiers! Everyone has a show, or 10, that they have been waiting to start up again. For men, it’s football (yes, I realize women like it too, but only because men do).  For women, it’s most likely a romantic drama like “Grey’s Anatomy.”  But a recent message I heard had me thinking: just what does what we watch say about us?

Here was the message: things that capture our attention determine our direction in life. In turn, our direction, not our intention, determines our destination. Sounds obvious, but we all know people who are completely shocked they are in a pile of you-know-what after making a series of poor life choices. Most people are probably thinking “my finances”, “the mortgage,” “family” or other big-ticket items. But I think it’s also important to remember the little things, like television shows, which also capture our attention, especially for the youth.

Two years ago, my husband and I started watching “Glee,” a musical comedy featuring high school misfits. It is admittedly witty and entertaining. Then last year, as the show progressed (in every sense of the word), we started evaluating whether or not to turn it off. Both of us were hoping that the episode depicting 16-year-old cheerleaders making out was just a fluke. But as the weeks went by and the Christian students were depicted as crazies with blind faith while other characters falsely espoused that women are discriminately paid 75% than that of a man, we concluded it wasn’t just one instance. The writers had opinions they were pushing, and why not, it was their product. Though I enjoyed many of the over-the-top characters like Sue Sylvester, it needed to be turned off.

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness” (Mat 6:22-23).

We take in what we see. There is even an entire industry dedicated to making sure we do (also known as advertising). Are we really so naive to believe that we only take the ‘good’ to heart?  Some women get an unrealistic idea about love from romance novels, movies, and television. Media, especially pornography, also provides men with a skewed perception of a woman’s sexuality (it’s a lot more complex than a man’s for those of you who haven’t figured it out).  These merely serve as examples.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to thepaths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” Prov 4:23-27). It sounds like Solomon was warning that decisions in our lives need to be intentional and not just made based on what “feels good,” is “fun” or “entertains” us. Temptations, that means stuff we want to give into, are all around and have to be deliberately avoided in order to protect ourselves.

Do I miss “Glee” or other shows I’ve decided to live without? Eh, sometimes I click on itunes to see if they’ve covered any songs I like, but honestly it’s been freeing. Once I made the decision to turn off shows I didn’t think were constructive to my life, it opened up a lot of free time for other things like reading …or blogging!

I want to be clear, I’m not saying if you watch “Glee” or another questionable movie, show or any other form of entertainment you are going to hell. You just aren’t going to heaven. Just kidding! I also don’t think Christians are doomed to watch sermons all day. I just think we need to be careful about what we let into our lives, and our DVRs. (Sorry for picking on the Gleeks.)

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