Monday, February 21, 2011

A Little Good News Today

On a day that we've finalized our decision to shut off the cable, I appropriately came across Anne Murray's song A Little Good News (for lyrics, see link below) and remembered not only how much I love her voice, but also why I'm okay with closing this particular window into the world. There is so much hate and heartache in the media!  Well, we've been casually tossing the idea to cut the cable for weeks now, but hadn't taken any action until this afternoon when we finally made the call.  They shut if off tomorrow morning between eight and ten.  Though a part of me would like to be out in the living room filling my last cable filled night with whatever non-junk show (believe it or not, they do exist) I can find, I opted to write about the logic behind our decision instead.  In the words of Anne Murray, I decided to write a little good news today. 
We don't watch a lot of TV as it is, but when we do we've found it difficult to find something the three of us can sit down to watch together.  Even if our six year old son isn't with us in the room, Sam and I rarely find a show that we know God is pleased to see us watch.  Many months ago, we accepted a challenge posed by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (for more on Ray and Kirk, see link below) that asks the individual to turn the channel if an actor uses God's name in vain. "Do you love God enough to turn the channel when someone uses His name as a cuss word?" Ray Comfort asked.  Well, to be honest - back then I did start turning the channel, but it was done more out of obligation to honor God than out of some deep-seated love for Him and His name.  I was exasperated every time I had to shut a movie off and even a little irritated with God Himself for being in the movie.  "Well, God why don't you make these people stop using Your holy name so I can enjoy a movie every now and then!" I grumbled as I turned the channel.  Well, I don't have that same problem today.  I love God so much and I'm happy to turn a show if it misuses His name or is inappropriate in His eyes in any way, but what I don't like is the decline in the morality of today's television shows and how easy it is to fill up on junk.  Do you know that with the "don't watch if God's name is abused" filter alone, we can just barely watch movies that aren't animated?

Some people find this self-imposed filter extreme.  Well, let's look at it this way.  We have five senses: hearing, taste, sight, touch, and smell.  Through these five senses, we perceive the world around us, so if you're walking in a park, chances are you'll be using all five of them.  You might hear a bird chirp while you taste an ice cream cone as you see other people walking past.  On your way to the grassy area made just for your picnic, you might stop to touch a flower and smell its sweet fragrance.  The sky is blue, the grass is green, and the birds sound beautiful.  As a wind blows gently across your face, you close your eyes as you tilt your head to the sun filled sky.  A warm ray beams down upon you and combines with the breeze to make your skin tickle and your body softly quiver.  Did you shake because of a chill in the breeze or was it because you were warmed by the sun at the exact instant the wind blew across your skin?  Ever happened to you before?   It's so easy to use our God given senses without even stopping to think about the fact that we're using them, right? 

How do you think your mood would be if you were in that park?  A positive intake into our senses creates a positive output of emotion, attitude, and overall well-being.  However, if you're eating pizza every night for six months, your body is going to reflect it in a more round size.  If you're smelling smoke, you may choke from the inhalation.  If you're touching a hot stove, you're going to feel a burn and sport a scar.  If you're listening to music that sings every other word in the key of cussing, you'll probably cuss like a sailor with your friends.  Similarly, if you're watching shows filled with violence, sex, cussing, and hate - you'll start projecting what you spend time watching.  Make sense? We should never underestimate the power and influence of what we take in through our senses. 

What we put in our body, mind, and spirit is going to be what comes out.  We know that to be true with the sense of taste and eating, but we forget that it's also true with our remaining senses.  The good news is - we can control what we put inside of us.  I used to watch a variety of television shows.  It wasn't until I started paying attention to what God wanted that I found anything wrong with what I was watching.  If we watch shows filled with ungrateful spouses and romantic lovers on the side, it might make adultery start looking good.  Have you ever watched soap operas?  If we're watching something about the rich and famous, it may make robbing that bank look a little more appealing.  What about the horror movies?  Have you seen what is out these days?  The point is - all it takes is one wrong visual intake to catch us at the right time and we can be slowly led down a path on which we shouldn't be.  "Isn't that a little extreme?" you may ask.  No, it's the reality of behavior based on perception.  I've been on both ends.  I've been in the right place to get caught in a negative whirlwind of thought.  Conversely, I've also been in the right place to be swept away in positive thought.  I have been deeply and profoundly affected by some of the amazing words spoken to me by pastors, leaders, and motivational speakers through my TV screen.  However, just as we can be positively affected, we can also be negatively affected; I've been there too.  While one inspirational message can lead us in a moment to give our life to Christ, one hate filled message can, in a moment, lead us to kill our enemy. 

If you watch pornography every night when your spouse goes to bed, what do you suppose will be in your mind the next time the two of you become intimate?  If you already have problems with anger, watching shows with anger spun as comedy probably wont resolve your own issue.  If you're struggling with anxiety, watching a horror movie is an unlikely fix to calm your fears.  Enjoy what you watch, but watch what you're watching.  I'm not saying I think everyone should shut their cable off, so please don't call your provider in the morning and tell them to disconnect.  I simply shared our decision to do it as the foundation of my overall point - which is that we should all take note of what goes in through our senses.  God didn't design us to take in only.  We have both input and output, and what we put inside will ultimately come out in some form, so be careful in choosing what you put in.  If you fill your sense of sight with words written in hope, love, and inspiration you're going to project that to the world, but if you fill it with words written in hate, evil, and discouragement - that is what you'll project.  The good news is you can choose what goes in! 



Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron www.wayofthemaster.com

A Little Good News lyrics: http://www.lyricsdepot.com/anne-murray/little-good-news.html

Image taken from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=809

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