One of my favorite shows is Friday Night Lights. Thanks to many friends, I got hooked on FNL in the fall. I watched the first four seasons in the span of a couple of months and then anxiously awaited the fifth and final season to air live in the spring. As much as I love the show, I find myself struggling with supporting characters in their sinful acts. I see myself rooting for characters to follow their earthly desires and to do what their heart tells them to. I fail to watch the show, and so many others, in a biblical perspective. I know I’m not alone in this.
Movies and shows communicate messages to us whether we realize it or not, and it’s up to us to filter through these messages and decipher whether or not we agree with them. But how do we do this?
Be critical. When you’re watching a show or movie, don’t just watch it to be entertained, but be active in thinking about it. What messages, world views or ethical dilemmas are being portrayed? What is it trying to say about people, culture, the world, etc?
Have a biblical perspective. Once you decipher what messages and ideas the show or movie is portraying, contrast them with what the bible says. Do the messages line up with what the bible says about the fallen nature of humans and the world? Do they agree or disagree with what the bible says about relationships, marriage, parenting, etc?
Aside from being critical and having a biblical perspective, we also need to be aware of the effect the show or movie is having on our own heart. Is it making us long for or desire things we shouldn’t be? Is it causing us to talk rudely or not be loving towards others?These are difficult questions to ask ourselves, especially when it is with a show or movie we love, but they’re necessary questions to ask.
I’ll be the first to say that I’m not perfect at doing this. I know my weaknesses and am striving to be more aware of these things when watching shows or movies. Where are you in this? Do you watch things just for entertainment, or do you think actively about the way it is effecting you and the messages and ideas that are being thrown at you?
As we as a community continue to learn how to watch things critically and with a biblical perspective, I pray that we wouldn’t be people who are easily influenced by the ideas of our culture, but that we would be people who engage in culture with eyes and hearts that have been changed by Christ.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2