Every day we face decisions about what kind of entertainment we watch, read, and listen to. Making entertainment choices can be confusing and seemingly complicated. The guidelines and rules for entertainment vary astoundingly even in the Christian world. Thankfully, our God is not a God of confusion. The Bible provides clear instruction on what followers of Jesus should be filling their minds with.
For starters, let’s look at Philippians 4:8. It says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”
We should use this criterion to judge what we fill our minds with. This is not a rule to repress us, but rather a guideline to help us. The input we receive affects our thoughts, and what we think has a drastic effect on how we live our lives.
You may be tempted to read a book or watch a movie that does not promote the virtues listed above, especially when everyone around you is doing so. The world may rave about a book, movie or song, but that does not mean that you should go along with them! The popular path may look intriguing and exciting, but it always leads to a trap.
As Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
This verse is referring specifically to Heaven and Hell and the way that we are saved, but following Jesus is a lifelong pursuit even after we receive forgiveness from our sins. As followers of Jesus, we must continually follow the narrow path. The path that eventually leads to destruction is easy to take and extremely popular. No matter how comfortable, fun, and easy it looks, the path that is wide and popular leads to disaster. The narrow path is hard and few follow it, but at the end there lies a true treasure. Taking the narrow path can be difficult, but the reward is far greater than the cost.
Raving reviews and admirable themes can make a movie or book with questionable content look appealing. Unfortunately, positive content will be overpowered by the adverse effects of questionable content. Finding entertainment that is completely pure can be difficult, but extreme care should be taken to verify that the positive content drastically overpowers any questionable content.
The Best Choices
Thankfully there are plenty of entertainment choices that are incredibly entertaining and completely clean. These songs, books, and movies might not be raved about by the world, but that is actually a promising sign. We should not want to love what the world loves. As Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Some entertainment may be neither inherently bad nor overtly beneficial. When facing entertainment choices such as these, it is worthwhile to ask ourselves, “What is worthy of my time?” Time is our most valuable asset. We must use our free time for the best entertainment available. If an entertainment choice is neither encouraging nor inspiring, it doubtfully will qualify as being worthy of your precious time.
Whenever you are faced with entertainment choices of any kind hold them against Philippians 4:8. Refuse to indulge in entertainment solely because everyone else is doing so. Make your own choice to go down the narrow path with the treasure at the end. Something could be appropriate regarding its content, but if it is not truly beneficial and uplifting it will prove to be more detrimental than positive. Do not settle for entertainment that fails to truly inspire and encourage you.