Why Christians Need To Start Prioritizing Faith Over Entertainment

August 8, 2016

Christians, our priorities are messed up. I say “our” because I’m a part of it, too. I am not immune. We prioritize movies, TV shows, and music over our faith. I’m not talking about the time that we spend on those as opposed to the time we invest in our faith, because I think that’s another post for another day, but I’m talking about the entertainment choices that we make. Friends, listen up. It is time for us to start prioritizing faith over entertainment.

Why Christians Need To Start Prioritizing Faith Over Entertainment

As Christians, we need to prioritize our faith over our entertainment choices. Click To Tweet

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul writes, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” As Christians, we like to take that verse lightly. First of all, how do you eat for the glory of God? Does that mean we shouldn’t drink alcohol? You know what, we’re not getting anywhere really, so let’s just forget this verse. But as I thought on this verse recently, my entertainment choices were the first thing that came to mind. Do they glorify God?

I never saw Magic Mike or 50 Shades of Grey, because I find them incredibly inappropriate. I don’t watch TV shows that center around a homosexual couple, because that does not line up with my belief of marriage. I’ve never listened to any music by Kanye, because I find that to be degrading and depressing. But in college, my favorite shows were The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.

You might say, “Abbey! How could you watch those? They’re all about sex!”

College Abbey would have responded, “Well yeah, but they’re hilarious.”

We can't show Christ to a broken world if we don't choose Him over entertainment. Click To Tweet

There’s always a justification for us when it comes to entertainment. That show is sexually inappropriate, but it’s funny. That movie is full of bad language, but it has my favorite actor. That song degrades women, but it’s got a good beat. Friends, let me say this loud and clear: Jesus does not care about your justification. He doesn’t. How do you think He would feel if you said, “Well Jesus, I had an affair, but that guy was really cute, so I think it’ll be okay.” Do you think He would be okay with that? No, He wouldn’t. I can guarantee that. Maybe you think that’s an unfair comparison, but I think that’s how serious we need to get about our entertainment choices.

In Matthew 5:21 and 28, Jesus says, “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment … I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” What this tells me is that what we see, what we think, and what we feel are just as important as what we do. We may not act out what we see in movies, but we’re allowing it to infiltrate our mind.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Watching these movies and shows and listening to these songs does not help me to think on things that are pure and true and right and admirable. They fill my mind with murky waters and cause my heart to wander from God.

Why Christians Need To Start Prioritizing Faith over Entertainment-Philippians 4:8

Friends, if we want to truly make a difference and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must start prioritizing our faith over our entertainment choices. How can we claim to be Christians if the world sees us going to movies that even they have second thoughts about? How can we grow closer to God when our minds are full of sex scenes, foul language, and morally inappropriate relationships? It’s hard to give this part of our lives to God. We live in an entertainment-saturated world, and it seems like the only movies we’ll be able to watch are cheesy Christian movies and maybe a few Hallmark shows. That’s not what I’m saying, and that’s not how it has to be. But even if that was the case, would you be willing to sacrifice your entertainment for your faith?

Related Post: 8 Family-Friendly, Non-Cheesy Christian Movies You Need To See

If you struggled with answering that question, take some time and talk to God. Believe me, I understand the struggle. My husband is a filmmaker. He absolutely loves movies, but we have to make sacrifices. Sometimes, we want to watch a movie, but when we look up Christian reviews, we find out that there’s an inappropriate sex scene or a homosexual. It’s hard, because the movies always sound really interesting and well-made, but we can’t watch them, because that’s not good for our minds, our hearts, or our faith.

For us, we don’t watch movies that feature sex, homosexual relationships, excessive swearing, or other elements that we deem inappropriate. Your list may look different, but take it before God and see what He wants for your life. God cares about our entertainment choices, because He cares about our hearts and our minds. Look at prioritizing faith over entertainment as a way for God to protect you and bring you closer to Him, rather than just as a rule or a restriction. God has greater things for your heart.

God cares about our entertainment choices, because He cares about our hearts & minds. Click To Tweet

Now it’s your turn! Do you struggle with prioritizing faith over entertainment? What rules do you have for the entertainment that you choose?

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  • Brittany

    August 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Our sermon this Sunday was about this very subject! Our culture makes it seem like we are weird if we don’t go with the flow but we have to answer to God and do what is right in His sight. Thanks for sharing this great reminder.

    1. smalltownsoul

      August 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Talk about spot on, Brittany! You’re absolutely right about answering to God! That’s what we have to focus on! 🙂

  • ashley

    August 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    This is a great post, it makes me realize I do need to sit down and look at the bigger picture. I stopped watching Game of Thrones and Orange is The New Black BUT I still watch shows like The Bachelor and Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I know I can not pick and choose. I need to have a serious convo w/ GOD! 🙂 lol.

    1. smalltownsoul

      August 9, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Thanks, Ashley! It’s such a hard change to make, so any progress is good progress! Don’t be discouraged, but definitely consider what God wants for you! 🙂

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  • Mistle

    September 26, 2016 at 9:54 am

    All great points. I believe that it is important to align with whatever you feel is right due to your beliefs. That’s awesome that you are staying true to your beliefs when it comes to entertainment.

    1. smalltownsoul

      September 26, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      Absolutely, Mistle! Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Rachel G

    September 26, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I think there are things to be said on both sides of the entertainment debate for Christians–and you have to do what you’re convicted is right. My beliefs about entertainment might be slightly different–I watch something for i’s message, for its truth, and if there happens to be swear words or something I don’t want to hear/see, I’m okay with ignoring some things in favor of a truly worthwhile message.

    I have Christian friends who walked out of the movie “Les Mis” when it came out in theaters, saying that they couldn’t believe the kind of filth Hollywood produces these days, that the movie glorified sin and glorified a sinful life. I’m a Christian, and walked out of the movie (at the end), in tears because of the beauty of the undeserved grace that the priest showed Jean ValJean and how it changed his life–and how Javert was lost because he couldn’t understand grace, he could only understand law. To me–yes, “Les Mis” portrays devastatingly sad, abusive, unjust, vulgar times, which really happened in the French Revolution, but in the midst of the darkness, it shows the power and light of grace.
    In another example, I have Christian friends who borrowed our copy of “Schindler’s List” and then gave it back to us, telling us they were horrified and unable to watch the movie because of the nudity of the prisoners in the camp. To me, that movie is a heartbreaking story of a not-very-good man who was able to set aside his self-interest and save many, many people from certain death. It’s a good story and a true one. And, it’s a horrifying thing that prisoners during the Holocaust underwent many shameful and horrifying things, one of which was being made to strip out of their clothes–movies shouldn’t whitewash the Holocaust, they shouldn’t make it easier to watch or more palatable, at least in my opinion–it’s good that they remind us how truly horrifying that part of history was–something that should never, ever be forgotten.
    To me, the message matters a little more than the specifics. Both “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Hangover” portray horrifying, sinful things. But I’ll watch the first and allow my heart to break over the plight of street children in India, and I’ll learn what I can about the beggars that live on my own streets and how best to help them. The other…I’ll never watch because there’s no beauty, no genuinely good message or story, it’s just stupid sin.
    For me, my faith definitely affects my entertainment choices–but it doesn’t always mean that I won’t watch something that happens to portray something yucky–to me, there’s a difference between portraying and promoting/glorifying. Some movies definitely promote/glorify sinful lifestyles–in my opinion, “Les Mis” is not one of those, thought it definitely portrays horrific happenings. And I’m with you on “How I Met Your Mother” or “Big Bang Theory”–to me, neither of those portray truth beautifully or only include vulgarity in a necessary or real way–to me, there’s no good reason to watch either show.

    1. smalltownsoul

      September 28, 2016 at 8:51 am

      This is a BEAUTIFUL comment, Rachel! Thank you so much for sharing your insight! I struggle with watching movies that portray sin, whether they’re glorifying it or not, but I love your point about overlooking those things to take in the message of the film. The message is what truly matters about the movie, and it is what we should take to heart. This has challenged me, and I thank you so much for your words! 🙂

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  • Gina B

    March 6, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Yes, this is something I’m starting to learn, but it’s a struggle for several reasons! First of all, I love literature and as a writer, feel that I need to read a lot of it. But since I’ve become a Christian, I can see how many of these books are terribly unGodly and some even openly anti-Christian. (Others are subtle, which I guess is worse.)

    But now I’m not interested in violent shows either, and they all are! This is my husband and I spend evenings together. It’s going to take time to convince him they are not good and increase our devotional time. Getting there, but it’s a process and I have to be ok with that while still pushing for more of God’s presence in all things.

    1. Abbey

      March 8, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      It is certainly a struggle and a journey, Gina! I understand that so well! 🙂 It definitely takes prayer and a constant focus on God to figure out what we should and shouldn’t watch or read. 🙂

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