4. The straw in our lives (3) (1)

We have been discussing the different things in our lives that take up our time unnecessarily. These are things that will not stand the test of time when we truly face storms in our lives. There are so many, but I am simply touching on a few. Another one that most of you most probably have guessed is the television. Let me explain.

3. The television

I know most of us love the television, love watching movies and love to relax in front of it. Now once again, that in itself is not bad. Television could be an excellent source of information and could also be used to bring family and friends together to watch certain events, such as the Olympic Games, World cups, concerts etc.

Now as I said, I don't have a problem with television per se. I love watching sport, especially rugby and tennis, as I enjoy encouraging my favorite team/player. But I have a problem with it in two areas, number one, when it takes the time of your family and number two when you passively allow any and all information that presents itself into your mind. Let me explain.

I don't think my first reason needs much explaining, but let me just clarify. We as a family stopped our satellite television at the end of last year and I cannot tell you how much more time we have for one another now. My husband comes home from work and now he has time to play with the children outside, we sit at the table and eat and tell one another of our day, we even have time to read inspirational books and we feel sleepy by the time we go to bed and not have flashes of what we just watched on television disturbing our rest. We will activate the television again when the rugby season begins, but then we will discipline ourselves to watch only the game and maybe enjoy a movie/ programme together over weekends.

Now I am not saying you should all switch off your televisions. If you love watching documentaries/news/educational programs/sports etc, by all means do it. Just keep in mind that your family comes first and if these programs take excessive time, analyze your situation and make the changes needed to give your family the time and attention they deserve.

My second problem that I have with television is that it influences your mind. I am not going into much detail about your mind, as I can write a whole book about it, but for now know that your mind is a battlefield between what the devil wants to put in it and what God wants you to think. There are so many verses in the Bible about your mind, and it all boils down to the following:

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do." Proverbs 4:23.

In other words, guard your thoughts, as it will affect your actions and ultimately your whole life. Now when you are watching television, you want to lay back and relax and not think of anything else. But the problem is that you put your guard down and passively allow everything on the television to enter your mind. It dulls the brain and allows things in, that you would under normal circumstances not entertain in your mind. These thoughts would slowly worm their way into your mind and strategically place them wherever your weakness is. For example you are not happy with your body, now you will see beautiful women on the television and automatically feel inferior. Or in the soapies you will see the perfect model of a man and you will start to compare him with your husband and begin to feel that your husband is not good enough. You will see affairs prevalent in almost every movie, it will start to look attractive to you and lure you in to possibly doing the same thing. You will hear curse words being spoken and the Lord's Name used in vain, and before you know it, one slips out when you are angry. Or you worry easily and now on the news you see all the devastating things going on in the world and you tense up and sleep with the lights on, because you fear the worst to happen to you. I can go on and on, but I am sure you get the picture.

My point is this, be careful what you place in your heart.  Be careful what you watch, it becomes your thoughts, your thoughts come out of your mouth and influences what you do, your actions can become habits and your habits build your character, essentially who you are. So in actual fact, wrong images on television can influence your character and pull you away from the Lord and all He has for you. Be careful. Rather focus on what is good and pure and of good report, it will build you up, fill you with the joy of the Lord and give you peace which surpasses all understanding.

"Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8

Lord Jesus, help us to look up to You and seek You in everything. Help us to discern different images on television and only look at what is good and pleasing in Your sight. You are our Lord and God and ultimately we would like to grow closer to You and leave out everything that could hinder our progress. Amen

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