Thursday, 20 November 2014

Entertainment for Christians: The Philippians Filter

Mark Hall of Casting Crowns

by Mark Hall

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

What Kind of Counsel Does Our Entertainment Give Us?

Philippians 4:8 says we’re supposed to focus on things that are pure, lovely, true, noble, and just. Things that are praiseworthy and virtuous.We need to apply the Philippians filter to our lives and ask some serious questions.

Don’t ask, “Is this wrong? Is this good? Is this bad?” These are questions of immaturity. It’s as if we want to ask God these questions so he can show us where the line is. By doing so, we can set up our tents right there on the side of the cliff. How close to sin can I get and still not sin? We’d never voice that, but it’s usually in our hearts.

We need to graduate from that kind of thinking. Instead, our hearts should say, “OK, if I want to honor God with my life and be an example for other people, then what’s the wisest and best thing for me to put into my head?”

We should never approach entertainment by saying, “Find me a verse.” “I don’t see anything wrong with it.” “Surely God wouldn’t mind.”

It’s the most natural thing to engage in such logical arguments, and we can talk ourselves into or out of almost anything.

What we need to ask is, “God, will this help me live the new life, or will it drag me back toward my old life?”

When I’m eating at Apple bee’s and an old song plays over the loudspeaker, I can tell you where I was and what I was doing when I first heard that song way back when. It’s almost impossible to forget, and it’s only a song. Some folks who compromise on music choices claim they listen for the music and not the lyrics. Problem is, an ever-growing little industry would disagree with the premise — an industry called advertising.

A thirty-second commercial during the 2009 Super Bowl telecast cost $3 million. It cost $2.7 million the year before. Either our viewing and listening choices affect us, or advertisers must be the dumbest people on the planet.

When we read the word counsel in the first verse of Psalm 1, we should notice how close it lies to another key word. The verb walks indicates we’re going to act based on our counsel.

We’re either going to walk in the way of the wicked or in the way of the righteous.

Our counsel points the way.

Excerpted with permission from "Your Own Jesus" by Mark Hall, copyright Zondervan 2014.

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Your Turn

Isn't it frustrating that some of the "best" movies, TV shows, and music include language and behavior that isn't in line with God's best for us? What are you watching? What are you listening to? Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart because our heart influences how we live out our faith in community with others. What we listen to and watch will eventually become a part of our heart. Take a moment to evaluate the shows and music you listen to. Does what you allow into your mind uplift and encourage or does it produce negativity in your life? Join the conversation on the blog. We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

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