Friday, September 05, 2008

Time to Weed My Heart

"Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." ~ James 1:21

Some moral filth is obvious. There are shows on television that make me blush and feel very uncomfortable. From obscenities to sex and violence, some of the things can get really bad. It's the same with some secular fiction, and I'll admit that there was some music that I used to listen to "back in the day" that was less than pure.

I began watching more movies and shows on the Hallmark Channel, the good old-fashioned shows like Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, Perry Mason, McBride, etc. I quit watching one of my favorite television shows because I one night while I was eating supper in the recliner, my husband walked through the room and said, "Oh, gross! How can you watch that while you're eating?" I realized that I had gotten desensitized to autopsies done on CSI! Plus, I started having nightmares about severed heads in newspaper machines.

I weeded my heart sometime back of some shows that I felt were bad for me. I also felt the need to pull away from secular fiction, because at the time I wasn't balancing it with reading God's Word. Since my decision to do that, I've read some great books, but sometimes there are some authors that just call my name, beckoning me. I recently read Angels Fall by Nora Roberts and thought, "Oh, this was good!" But there was sex before marriage, cussing and murder. Still, secular fiction is calling my name. So far I am resisting, until I get a clear response on what's okay to read and what's not. A divine revelation would be nice, but I thought I'd ask friends in blogland since divine revelations don't seem to come my way that often.

Lately, I have been watching Law & Order (the original one) on TNT in the afternoons. I love it! While there is some cussing, and of course violence, the show centers around tracking down suspects and on prosecuting the offenders. I love the show, but I wonder if I've just traded off one show for another. It doesn't seem quite as bad as CSI did, but obviously, the show is not "pure".

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." ~ Philippians 4:8

There just seems to be a fine line between going over the top and flying just below the radar. I want to watch things that are right for me to watch. I want to honor God. There are times when I wish we didn't even have a television, then the choice would be made for me, but I think God wants me to use the wisdom He's given me to discern what's right.

I know this can be a sensitive topic and I am not on a soapbox declaring Grey's Anatomy evil. I'm just trying to get some thoughts together on whether I'm being holier-than-thou with my tv watching. I would love for Jesus to audibly say, "Honey, it's okay if you watch Law & Order. I love that show!" Or, "I know Grey's is pretty dicey with the sex, but in this day and age..." Obviously, that's not going to happen.

Can you tell I'm looking for a little guidance here? This really seems to be a struggle in my heart right now. I want to honor God, and here I am at 37 (for a few more days) evaluating things I should have evaluated a long time ago. I know we are to be in the world but not of it. I just want to honor God. That's all. I have talked with my husband about it, and he's not as concerned with it as I am. He loves television and movies. If it's on, he'll watch it and not count the number of bad words in it. He overlooks it. Me, I'm a television and movie snob, I guess you'd say.

What are some shows you watch on television? What are some of your favorite movies?


Denise said...

Go with your heart, God will lead you sweetie.

Pam @ Beyond The Red Door said...


If you remember from previous discussions on the list I have also had the same conviction about secular fiction. I have recently (first time in 10 years) started reading some again and don't find that I still have the same conviction with it that I used to. However, I am paying very close attention to guard my heart and remain aware of what I am feeling. I understand where you are coming from.

I have not experienced that same conviction about TV shows that you do. That's not to say I was p*rn or anything. I watch pretty much what I want. But, as mentioned above, I strive to remain sensitive to the spirits leading.

I do, occasionally, find myself thinking how "romantic" a story line is whether in a book or a TV show, whether it involves premarital s*x or adultery. I am aware of that tug at my heart and am trying to be more careful about how I react to them.

All in all, I know where you are coming from. I think if you follow the leading of the Spirit then you can't go wrong. I appreciate that about you - that you are sensitive to that.

Denise said...

Please come by my blog, I have an award for you.

SophieMae said...

Hey, there! I found you through the Friday Funnies.

I used to love CSI. as well, but it just seemed to keep getting weirder and more perverse.

Have you checked out Sky Angel? We don't have it any more, but they used to have some great programming. Pastor Greg was my favourite.

And my favourite movies were produced by a church in Albany, GA. Flywheel was their first, and they did an amazing job. Next, and much more publicized, was Facing the Giants. Their third, Fireproof, will be released in a few weeks. Other than that, I'm a sucker for the old B&W's.

Have a JESUS-filled day!

HisFireFly said...

Greetings fellow weeder!

Some time ago I gave up television comedies and dramas completely, and God has not released me to return to any of them. We watch olympic events, some nature programs and Canadian/American Idol shows. We just spent a week visiting my folks and their tv is on constantly. I felt I HAD to stay in another room. It's not that every show is bad or evil or even unGodly, but it does waste alot of time that could be spent chasing after Him in prayer, worship, meditation, etc. Luckily, we were not sleeping there but at a hotel.

I do feel that what we listen to, watch and read changes the spiritual atmosphere of our surroundings. We go to sleep with worship music playing on a 5 cd changer. The one thing that old devil can't stand is worship so he stays away from our place!!!

Listen for His voice, the Holy Spirit is really the only One who can lead you in the way He wants you to go. I know you will be blessed by obedience. Wer always are.

Audie said...

Laurie Ann,
I've not had the same conviction about television shows, but I will say that a while ago I got pretty disgusted with a few shows we watch. My son, who will be 9 in Nov., likes to watch the shows that my hubby and I do. However, sometimes there are some pretty interesting scenes, if you know what I'm saying. Whether it was s*x filled, or filthy language, I decided to block quite a few different ratings, ya know how they rate the tv shows now? Well, he's not too happy with me, and my hubby gets kind of annoyed with how he has to enter a password when watching something blocked, but in my heart, I don't feel my children need to be watching stuff like that. I have to admit, when a s*x scene comes on, and it could be something on my soap opera show that I watch, I get kind of embarrassed. I know that God doesn't want us watching stuff like that, I try not to pay too much attention, I guard my heart, and a lot of times I walk away and come back after the show, so I can fast forward through it.
I will tell you, you mentioned watching the Hallmark Channel...which I LOVE. But Touched By An Angel is still on that channel, and I always watch. Always does my heart good.
I believe that the Lord will lead you which way He wants you to go. Just pray, and He'll show you.

Have a blessed day in Him.

In Christ,

Kathy C. said...

Laurie Ann, you may not like my response, but it's my own personal experience, so I'll share it.
We haven't watched "TV" in around 10 years. We have one, and we watch movies that we believe to be uplifting and non-offensive. Yes, this means missing out on about 98% of what Hollywood is putting out today.

We made our decision this way. If the Holy Spirit is living inside of me, then when I sit down to watch something, He is there with me, watching too. Do I want to offend Him? Do I want to offend Christ who I have chosen to give my life to?

The less I see, the less I WANT to see, if that makes sense. It's not about being holier-than-thou, or uptight or anything. I think it's too easy these days for people to bend toward the easy way, and to take the worlds point of view. It's great that you are thinking on these things and that you are asking for opinions and advice, it shows you are concerned and that's important.

I pray that you will seek what the Lord would have you to do. Follow what you know He is speaking to you. :)
Have a blessed day.

Laurie Ann said...

I love your response, Kathy, and I thank you so much for writing. I think if it were up to me, we'd do the same thing, but my husband and I are *so* not on the same wavelength regarding what is acceptable to watch. In fact, I found out today we are not even on the same frequency. It's something I'm praying big time about. Thanks for replying! I value your input.

Melanie said...

Hi, Laurie Ann. I think this is such an important topic these days and one that I know I should think about more. I think in the end we each have to go with what God is speaking to us as individuals and how what we watch affects our lives and hearts and our minds. I will say that in our house as long as the kids aren't around, we watch alot of CSI, Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order. I'm afraid that I, too, have become desensitized. However, I haven't really felt God tugging at my heart on this topic. Well, not until this very moment as I typed those words. :) Funny how God speaks to us sometimes, huh? I think you've prompted me to listen a little harder.. and I will.

I will pray for you as you search for what God wants for you in this situation. And will probably join you in praying for my family to discern the best way to handle this, as well.

Happy Weekend!