Daily Devotional for Saturday July 26, 2003
The bondage of TV
The bondage of TV. For those of us who are 50 and younger, we have grown up with television being a big part of our life. Even though when I was growing up in the 60's there were only 3 or 4 stations, what was on television was a big part of my life and the life of so many throughout our country. As the years have passed, television has increased in its importance in the daily lives of most people. We now live in the age of 100 plus channels that specialize in everything imaginable. Without even thinking about it, it is a bigger part of most people's lives than they even realize. In most homes, the TV is turned on from the moment you wake up, and is on until you go to bed. Most people get home from work or school and immediately turn the TV on. Again, without even realizing it, many, no most people, have become so enslaved to television they cannot live without it.
Let me say right up front, that the purpose of this Devotional today is NOT to bash the television industry. I am not here today to even talk about the programming that is on TV. My purpose today is to make you stop and think about what role the television plays in your life, and the life of your family. I can tell you from years of counseling, that the absolute number one cause of conflict between people is a lack of communication. Relationships are destroyed because of a lack of sitting down and talking about the problems that exist. I am a firm believer that with the power of God working on people's hearts, and honest, open communication, any conflict can be overcome.
One of the biggest reasons we do not have the type of communication we should have with our loved ones, the people we are closest to in this life is because of the television. How many men come home from a long day at work, sit down in your favorite chair, and stare at the TV until you are ready to sleep. The only break is dinner, and even than, the TV is usually on and dominates your meal time. Women, aren't much better, though household chores tend to occupy your time initially, but when those chores are over, it is time for the television. Young adults and kids are also guilty of letting the TV dominate your time as well.
One of the things I try to bring home as much as possible is the importance of our daily walk with Christ. Spending time in the Word and prayer every day. For many, it is a struggle to even devote an hour to that incredibly important time with the Lord. Yet, sitting down and watching what you enjoy on television is no problem at all. Again, my point is not to condemn you, or try to imply television is inherently evil, simply to get you to stop and think about how much time you spend each day in front of the television. I recently shared with you a Devotional on fasting. I mentioned that fasting does not always have to be food, but anything that you give up to spend that time with the Lord. Trust me when I tell you, getting a person to fast and give up food for 3 days is much easier than asking them to fast and give up television for 3 days.
Stop right now and ask yourself, how many hours a day do you spend watching television, than multiply that times 7. Now, take those hours each week you spend watching TV and ask yourself, if you took 25% of that time and did something else, what could you do? Pray more, read the bible more, do things with your family, do things with your friends, find ways to use that time at church or volunteering at some organization helping people. It is endless what you could do, that would make a positive impact on your life, by simply giving up 25% of the time that you now sit in front of the television.
I love you, and care about you so much. Part of what God has asked me to do each day is to help you deal with the very real world we live in, in accordance with your faith in Christ. Making your faith real in your very real daily life. Often, we fall into bondages without even recognizing them as such. Television is one of those subtle bondages that we never even think about in that way. I will pray for you today to pray and really seek the Lord on taking 25% of the time you now spend in front of the television that time more productively. Ask the Lord how He would have you utilize that precious time. Time is the greatest resource we have in this life, yet we squander it, waste it, misuse it daily.
Just turning off the television and actually talking with your spouse, with your children, with your family members will make an incredibly positive impact in your relationships. We can't take our time in this life for granted. We can't take the time God gives us with our family and friends for granted. It won't last forever. It is a special gift. We miss so much of the joy, the abundance of this life by getting lost in the endless, often mindless things we watch on the television. For those who are single, DON'T USE THE TV AS AN ESCAPE ROUTE FROM LIVING LIFE! It is an entertainment medium, it is fantasy for the most part. God gave you only one life, LIVE IT, don't miss it.
The enemy uses all kinds of ticks and traps to minimize our effectiveness in serving the Lord. The television is a very seductive, common diversion the enemy uses to bind us and at least keep us off the battlefield. Today, you have heard this warning. It is a very real warning that you need to take seriously. God loves you very much. He only wants the best for your life. Allow Him to open your eyes to this trap today so that you may live a fruitful and victorious life!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller