Today, we live in the shadow of yesterday’s great revivals. The lifestyle choices willingly embraced by these generations have devolved, at some level, into lifeless rules. When the idea of Christian living is distilled into “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t dance and don’t chew, and don’t hang out with those who do,” we have lost the life giving power of Christ. Legalistic religion has enough power to make us miserable, but not enough to set us free or empower us to live like Christ.
So when I ask “How much time to you spend in front of the television” in the context Christ-centered living, I risk asking what too many will consider legalistic. “How can you judge a person because they watch TV? The Bible doesn’t say anything about watching TV. Can’t I do what I want with my free time?”
So we sacrifice our time to the One-eyed gods in our living rooms. We live no differently than the unsaved world around us, without considering its effects on our spirits, or the eternal cost to Christ’s Kingdom.
Went my kids were young, and the WWJD fad swept the Christian community, I put a sign on my television that said “What Would Jesus Watch?” I heard a few random sermons, asking me to visualize Jesus in the room, as a way of asking whether what I watched was gracious, kind, excellent and praiseworthy or hostile to faith, hope and love. It was a good start.
I spent almost a decade in front of my DVR, and discovered that I could spend (waste) hours watching television, at any time, on my schedule. Today I don’t have a TV. I wish I could recover those late nights I fell asleep on the couch. The time I invested paid -0- returns. Today, I have to ask myself a question that goes beyond WWJD, or some bygone religious rule.
I am a steward of the gifts God’s given me. He will hold me accountable for earning a return on those gifts for his kingdom. Time is perhaps the most valuable resource he’s trusted into my care. I can’t save time, and everyone has the same 24 hours per day. Am I spending this resource in a way that builds God’s kingdom when I sit in front of my television? Are you?
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