I have a confession. The Walking Dead is my favorite show on TV right now. I probably wouldn't have admitted that two years ago when I first started watching it. I was disturbed, as most people are, at the amount of gore and gruesome deaths involved. But then I kept watching, becoming more and more attached to the characters and story line. I felt kind of ridiculous trying to persuade my friends and family to watch it. Like I was encouraging them in some kind of "evil deed." But after the numbers came out last week that showed 16 million people tuned in to the premiere of the fourth season, not to mention a ton of those friends and family I once tried so hard to persuade, I now realize I'm not so alone anymore. And it feels like the right time to discuss it.
To stick with this month's theme of "being content," I want to address contentment when it comes to moral decisions. Specifically, our movie and TV choices.
You may think I'm stretching here. Wondering what contentment has to do with our moral convictions. But I know, from experience, that there is definitely a correlation. So stick with me.
I want to go ahead and say that I don't believe there is a "one-size" fits all moralistic code that we are supposed to abide by as believers. Which means, what is okay for one person may not be okay for another. I used to believe differently, and tried to push my moral convictions on other believers. Then I read Romans 14 and the Holy Spirit convicted my heart.
What I do know, is that we should be content in whatever we have decided when it comes to our moral choices. And be so confident, that we are willing to stand before God one day and give a personal account (because we will, by the way).
What I can tell you about our personal decisions is that we don't watch nudity, sex, scantily dressed men or women or anything that encourages lustful thoughts. Sometimes this means turning off "The Voice" because Christina chose not to cover up the top half of her body that night. Most of the time this means skipping the Super Bowl halftime show, and certain scenes in movies when we pick up on the sexual cues and innuendos. This is a moral conviction we have set in place for our family, and not just for my husband's sake, but for mine and our children too. Lust is not just a "man's issue" in our house.
Anything that falls outside of this issue, we tend to take case by case.
The Walking Dead is one of those case by case examples. There are very few times we have to fast forward this show because of sexual innuendos. I can count them on one hand. It's probably one of the cleanest shows in regards to that. But as far as violence? It's probably the worst.
But I can name another movie that was so violent it received a rated R rating, yet was passionately advocated by the Christian community - The Passion of the Christ.
The reason we take these movies and TV shows case by case, is because we see the value in what they offer. If the show is a nonsense, horror flick about chopping up bodies (i.e. The Saw) you can count me out! But if the show is teaching us a lesson on humanity and the value of life, I can totally get in to (and learn from) it.
I'm not here to encourage you to allow violence in your life, in fact I discourage you from allowing anything that causes you discontentment in your spirit. But let that be the guiding decision for your moral choices and not an invisible code that you believe not only applies to yourself, but to everyone else around you. Trust me, you will never be content when you try to live this way.
I know, because for a long time I wasn't.
This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October entitled “31 Days of Being Content.” See all other posts in this series by clicking here. Or enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to subscribe to this blog and receive posts straight to your inbox!