Gospel Gab: Are you still watching? Because Jesus is

Ava Hicks, Staff Writer

For some folks, the average Sunday consists of praising the Lord and studying the Bible all morning and then turning on the TV that night to watch a popular show filled with nudity and grisly violence. You can probably guess what show I am referring to but before you jump to defend its marvelous plot line and dynamic characters, please hear me out.

I am definitely no stranger to the world of binge watching and TV shows that are so intricate they can sometimes become more enticing than reality. We too often become so entranced by the idea of these complex characters that they become real to us, even to an extent where our happiness is based on their fictional fortune.

This introduces a dangerous concept where we unconsciously adopt and mimic habits and characteristics of the people in the shows we watch. Not only does this diminish our own sense of self, but when applied to the wrong program it can lead us to say and do things that are not exactly Christ like.

When selecting a show to indulge in it is important to consider how the ethics and ideals expressed in the program align with your own. For example, watching a comedy where the f-bomb is dropped every other sentence might not be spiritually wholesome for someone who refrains from swearing.

Think about it this way—the people that you surround yourself with have an immense impact on your own conduct and how you go about your daily life. 1 Corinthians 15:33 states “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals”. So if much of your time is spent in the company of immoral characters on a screen, wouldn’t the same rule apply?

This concept can also be applied to how the very act of binge watching can affect our spirituality as a whole. Whenever I find myself confronted with the infamous “Are you still watching?” pop up during a Netflix binge, I tend to pose the question of just how constructive what I am viewing is towards my faith. If I feel as if the show is detrimental to my soul because it tends to glorify or romanticize sin, my inclination is to turn my attention elsewhere.

Let me be clear, I am not saying that watching a lot of Netflix is a sin or that Christians should not watch anything secular. I highly doubt Jesus has anything personal against The Office. What I am simply trying to convey is that you should be aware of the effects that media can have on your thoughts and your spirituality.

Philippians 4:8 states “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” If nine straight episodes of Game of Thrones keeps you from doing this, perhaps you should try watching something a little more lighthearted.