I like to think of myself as a pretty sensible person. I don't need to read the warning on my to-go lid to know my coffee is hot. The MythBusters do not need to tell me that blowing anything up without professional supervision is probably a bad idea. However, every now and then I forget that TV shows aren't always authorities on whatever they're portraying.
Take for example my conversation with my boss (above) about the Murder She Wrote episode I recently watched. I've been watching this show for most of my life. I genuinely trust J.B. Fletcher and wish she were my meddling Aunt like she is to so many guest stars. I also tend to think writers in the 80's were a little more honest and did more thorough research than their counterparts of today. This might explain why I basically had to be told "please do not try this at home". Sure it seemed a tiny bit reckless but if it were possible I'd be a genius and the newest superstar at my firm.
Laugh if you want but you've probably done it too. You might not have taken career advice from reruns of a show about an amateur sleuth but you've probably taken love advice from just about every movie or show you've watched from Disney to HBO. So many of our views of love are shaped by what media shoves down our throat. There should be a chase, grand romantic gestures, a break filled with tears and unhealthy food, followed by an over the top reunion and they all live happily ever after. If you're one of the people thinking "I'm not that naïve" then you're probably in the group that assumes getting cheated on is the norm, your best friend's hubby is probably your "soul mate", and you can have all kinds of sex outside of marriage without risk of pregnancy or STDs.
So often we think what we're putting into our minds is harmless. It's just funny or entertaining. But everything we take in plants some sort of seed, EVERYTHING. It can be tough to know where to draw the line. But lines must be drawn. If you can't quit watching a certain show, that you know is bad for you, because it gives you an opportunity to witness to an unsaved friend (did you read that second part? There needs to be a legitimate reason).Then my advice is you better spend double the time you spend watching that show in prayer and in Bible study (in addition to your regularly scheduled quiet time). It might sound extreme but spiritual warfare is real. The more we study the Word the more we will get checks in out spirit that something we see on the screen is not right.
I don't believe we should be so out of touch with society that we cannot relate when sharing the gospel. We can't put blinders on and act like none of the bad things around us are happening. But we also can't find entertainment in the things God calls us to stand against. I recently heard a speaker say "you can't pray for an inner city kid not to become a drug dealer but then go home and watch Breaking Bad". I agree. In doing so we desensitize ourselves to the issue and by consuming we help to continue the glorification of said profession (or action) by encouraging writers to produce more shows with similar content.
We are called to be lights (Matthew 5: 14-16). The shows and movies we watch and enjoy are a simple litmus test to whether or not we're doing just that. What color is your strip?