Around eight or nine years ago, my husband and I ditched cable.
When we first cancelled the cable, we went a few months without internet as well. We had just moved into our place and were in a financial situation where that money was best spent elsewhere.
It was strange to not have the television on in the background constantly when we were home. It was quiet. We weren’t sure what to do – stare at each other? Have lengthy conversations? It honestly took a couple of months to get used to it.
After five or six months, we had the internet turned on and subscribed to Netflix. We now have Netflix, Hulu, Amazone Prime and all the internet has to offer. We can pretty much watch what we want, when we want.
I realized something as we incorporated this type of entertainment back into our lives. We had to choose what to watch. There wasn’t just this big screen playing whatever was on the channel it was last turned to. We had to actively choose what to watch. I started to think about the things I put before my eyes. I felt conviction (not condemnation) over shows that I had watched for years and the type of images and information that I was absorbing through them. I started to question if I really needed to be watching certain things.
I would be sitting in a waiting room at the doctor or the dentist office and I couldn’t believe the things that were being discussed on TV during hours that young children would be playing in their living rooms as moms and dads went on about their day. I was shocked. I was appalled. I was saddened. This is the garbage I had been feeding on for so many years? How did I not see it before? How was I not aware?
That’s how. I had become used to it. It had become common to me. It wasn’t until I went without seeing and hearing those things on a regular basis that I realized what I was really feeding on.
Now, we have an almost one year old and since he was born, I have become hyper aware of what is on our television when he is in the room or what is on the radio in the car. I’ve taken to pretty much only listening to the Christian radio station so that is not an issue so much. What about that 20 minutes in a doctor’s waiting room where a daily talk show is on and they are speaking of things way too mature for his ears and eyes? In all honesty, from the few things I have seen in waiting rooms or Facebook videos of clips from current talk shows, they discuss things that really shouldn’t be in front of my eyes or in my ears either.
There are even cartoons that I will turn off because of imagery or words that I don’t find appropriate for him. He’s not sitting in front of a screen 24/7 by any means but the time we do allow for a cartoon, we (me and my husband) are responsible for what he sees and hears. I grew up on Sesame Street and was shocked to see a few skits where they pulled politics in. Really? Does a child within the age range of who would watch such a show need to be introduced to politics even if it is done with humor?
We want to raise our child to be a light wherever he goes. We want him to choose to see the good in people. We want him to make a difference in this world. These are his formative years and we are responsible for what he sees and hears. He will eventually know and see the harsh realities of the world. Our prayer and hope is that he sees them through the light of the Word.
As grown adults, we are also responsible for what we see and hear and more importantly how we react to it. Most of us mindlessly scroll through Facebook the way we used to flip through channels. Since I’ve been thinking about this, I’ve taken notice of a lot of negativity. Memes that are meant to be funny but in now way enrich my life. People who are constantly posting negative, derogatory words.
Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) tells us Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
If we take this as seriously as we should, we would see these things that seem silly really do affect our thoughts which is where life and death begin. What we think we speak and what we speak we reap.
Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Luke 6:45 (KJV) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
I challenge you, for the month of February, turn the television off. Listen to music or messages that are edifying, uplifting, empowering. No main stream music. No television, not even your favorite shows. No social media (Facebook/Instagram/etc). Give it 28 days, not even a full 30, just 28 days and then see what you think when you go back to those things. If you don’t think you can handle 28 days, give it one week. Even a full seven days will show you the negativity you feed on when you go back to it.
Detox your mind from the world and its influence. Renew your mind as Romans 12:2 says. People say they feel far from God but it’s because they are closer to the world and not willing to get away from it for a length of time to allow Him in.
Romans 12:2 (KJV) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.