Life & Work: Learn
A Guide to Making Wise Media Choices
The consumption of media in today’s world is staggering. The average American consumes five hours per day of television, and that doesn’t include time spent on social media, listening to music, playing video games or reading magazines. (We don’t recommend this!)
Spending so much time immersed in media is how Christians are most likely to get tripped up. Why? Because it is exposure to ideas and images that directly oppose the Word of God. Let’s face it. Today’s media is about as far away from biblical values as you can get.
While there is no one solution for every Christian when it comes to media consumption, you can take the standards of the Bible, along with our suggestions below, to determine what is spiritually healthy for you to consume.
Our guide to making wise media choices is designed to help you create a solid plan for protecting yourself and your family from the influences of the world.
When considering a movie, television show, music or any other media, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Is it positive?
Philippians 4:8 instructs us about what our thoughts should be fixed on as believers. This is a checklist from that verse to compare against your media choices:
- Whatever is true
- Whatever is honorable and right
- Whatever is pure, lovely and admirable
- Whatever is excellent, worthy of praise and of a good report.
Gossip TV, falsified news and distorted views of the family do not check these boxes.
Instead of binging on such forms of entertainment, determine to let your time be used for your benefit. Consider reducing the amount of time you spend consuming media, and replace just one hour per day with the Word of God, watching encouraging teaching on VICTORY Channel™, or reading a book about success. You’ll be amazed by how much your life will change!
2. Is it blatantly against biblical values?
Ask yourself the following about any television show, movie, book, magazine or music you’re considering:
- Does it promote premarital sex?
- Does it glorify divorce?
- Does it normalize homosexuality or transgenderism?
- Does it attack Christians or Christian values?
- Does it depict women as sexual objects?
- Does it use foul language?
- Does it include mysticism (fortunetelling, psychics, witchcraft, ghost activity or other demonic activity)?
- Does it include graphic violence?
- Are all the ideas presented things I would want to teach my children or grandchildren?
How can you know if media contains these items in advance of watching them? Much of the time, discernment will be the answer. An R-rated movie is designated that for a reason. If you need additional help, there are Christian organizations, such as pluggedin.com, which offer media reviews from a Christian perspective.
3. How does it make me feel?
A good question to ask yourself to determine if a TV show, movie, magazine or song is a wise media choice is: How does it makes me feel?
Does it elicit feelings of anger or frustration? Does it shock you or make you fearful?
If you’ve been desensitized to sex, violence or profanity, your feelings may not be a reliable guide right now. But if you take the time to tune in to how the evening news or any other programming makes you feel (perhaps discouraged, sad, angry), you may realize that it was affecting you more than you thought.
4. Have I started to imagine the bad things I watch could happen to me?
The Bible renews your mind to the truth of God’s Word and causes you to expect good things in your life. On the contrary, poor media choices retrain your mind in the opposite direction—to expect bad things to happen.
Ask yourself the following:
- Am I afraid to be alone in my house at night?
- Do I hear noises that scare me, but they turn out to be nothing?
- Am I concerned I’ll get in a car accident when I leave to go somewhere?
- Am I concerned about contracting the latest virus?
- Am I concerned about losing my job based on recent reports?
If you answered yes to any of these, it’s time to consider the media you’ve been consuming. Even neighborhood FacebookTM posts announcing the dangers of the nearby highway can instill fear in you. Keeping up with the local happenings is not worth opening a door of fear in your life.
5. Am I disturbed thinking about images or ideas after having watched or listened to the programming?
If any media causes you to replay disturbing ideas or images in your mind or lament the state of society today, it is not a wise media choice. Choose programming that is inspiring, encouraging, uplifting or just fun. Guard yourself from entertainment authored by our enemy.
After reviewing this guide to making wise media choices and consulting with the Lord, if you discovered some areas that need changing, don’t allow yourself to be condemned, ashamed or discouraged—get empowered! Many Christians have found themselves hauling heaps of DVDs and CDs to their trash bin after having a similar revelation. Don’t look back with regret; look forward with excitement to the freedom and faith you’re about to enjoy!
Watch Kenneth Copeland teach you how to let God guide you every day.