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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Talk Back to Your TV (and other entertainment)

(Christianity Today publishes a devotional called "Men of Integrity," which recently adapted some material from one of my books for a week of readings. I thought you might enjoy seeing them...)

Key Bible Verse: Test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Keep away from every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22). Bonus Reading: Philippians 4:8

If you soak up the media with your brain in neutral, you'll be captured by the enemy's destructive ideas. To apply today's Key Bible Verses to the entertainment you enjoy, keep your brain in gear, know your Bible, and evaluate based on what it says. Talk back mentally to your TV, music, books, and the movie screen. When you see or hear something good, note the truth communicated or illustrated. If it's bad, note how and why it displeases God. That's conquering rebellious ideas and teaching them to obey Christ ( 2 Corinthians 10:5).

If I enjoy a certain kind of music, I can thank God for giving musicians the talent to produce it. But when the words aren't coming from hearts that love Christ, I'll often intentionally hear or sing them with an elevated meaning. Many songs on love and sex written about an unmarried couple can apply to my relationship with my wife. Single people can think of the lyrics as describing a future marriage relationship. This is applying today's Bonus Reading command by finding the good in the things we observe and disciplining our minds to dwell on that. Of course I don't sing or let my mind dwell on songs that can't possibly be reinterpreted like this.

—Dave Swavely in Who Are You to Judge? (adapted by permission)

My Response: Do I passively accept media messages or do I talk back to them?

Thought to Apply: All television is educational television. The only question is, what is it teaching?—NICHOLAS JOHNSON (former Federal Communications Comm. chairman)

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