by Tad Lindley
Living room or dying room?
I don’t have a television in my home. I do not watch movies on my computer’s DVD player. I have never played an X-box. I have seen too many grown men waste their days on Halo when they could have been serving God and providing for their families. I won’t take a chance on it.
Nevertheless, I visit homes with television often enough that I occasionally hear what is on. It is shocking to me the language and sexual innuendos that one never heard on TV when I was a child. America has been lulled to sleep over time.
The moral standards in the video game and movie industry did not go from shooting alien spaceships to stealing cars and picking up prostitutes overnight. Bit by bit we have caved in until we find ourselves in a dangerous place. Our living rooms have become dying rooms. The ungodly role models of the entertainment industry have replaced the old men in the qasgiq. Our moral standards are being shaped in living rooms across the nation. The time has come to remodel the living room.
Quick test: does your living room need remodeling?
Try this quick test. For the next week record how much time you spend watching the television and playing video games (including games on your cellular telephone) each day. Also record how much time you spend in prayer each day, and how much time you spend in Bible study. If you are not a Christian, instead record how much time you spend helping other people each day (outside of your paying job, and outside of your house).
According to the Bible, Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers. Rather, he delights in the teachings of the Lord and reflects on his teachings day and night (Psalm 1:1-2 GW). Are you delighting more in blowing men’s heads off in the video game 007? Or are you savoring that quiet time where you can get alone with the Bible and study on Thou shalt not murder (Exodus 20:13)?
If you are spending more time with the television or the X-box than you are with Jesus, you are dying spiritually. It is time to remodel the living room.
Remodel Step 1
Remove the TV from your living room. I recommend the dumpster, but that may be too drastic a first step. Put it in a place where it is inconvenient to get to. Perhaps the lagyaq or the porch will do. Running an extension cord out to the shed is a hassle. That is good. You will also find that playing Street Fighter V amidst the sour and moldy smells of the shed is not as much fun. That is good.
A television in the living room is too easy. The temptation to sit down after dinner and waste the night away overcomes the desire to build a steam bath, to exercise, to read the Bible, or to visit someone.
Remodel Step 2
Not only will there be an empty spot in your living, there will be an empty spot in your life. Fill it. Some readers have never built a steam bath for their wives, and yet they have literally spent thousands of hours watching television. Now is the time to build her that steam bath. Many of us are overweight, even obese. Fill that time with exercise. Maybe you have been accustomed to staying up late on Saturday nights and sleeping through the church bell. Without a TV in the living room, you can go to bed early and be up in time for church on Sunday morning.
When our relationship with Jesus becomes a top priority, the things of this earth begin to lose their importance. When worldly things become very important to us, Jesus begins to lose his importance. The Book of Hebrews gives us God’s wisdom on this. Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith [in the Bible], we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Reverend Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.