n today's digital age, where a vast array of content is readily accessible, the question of what we should watch or expose ourselves to is of paramount importance for Christians. The Bible provides timeless guidance on the kind of content we should engage with, emphasizing the importance of guarding our hearts and minds. In this article, we'll explore what the Bible says about watching negative or harmful content and how its wisdom can shape our media consumption choices.
Philippians 4:8 - The Litmus Test for Content
Philippians 4:8 (ESV): "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
This verse from Philippians sets a high standard for the kind of content we should engage with. It encourages us to focus on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy. When considering whether to watch or consume certain content, we can use this verse as a litmus test. Does it align with these criteria? If not, it might be wise to reconsider.
Matthew 6:22-23 - The Eyes as Lamps
Matthew 6:22-23 (ESV): "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"
In these verses, Jesus teaches us that our eyes serve as lamps for our souls. What we allow ourselves to see can profoundly impact our inner being. If we constantly fill our eyes with darkness or negativity, it can overshadow our spiritual well-being. Therefore, it's essential to guard our eyes and be mindful of what we expose ourselves to.
Proverbs 4:23 - Guarding Your Heart
Proverbs 4:23 (ESV): "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."
This proverb reminds us of the importance of guarding our hearts. Our hearts are the wellsprings of our lives, shaping our thoughts, emotions, and actions. When we consume negative or harmful content, it can infiltrate our hearts, affecting our attitudes and behaviors. Thus, we should be vigilant in protecting our hearts from influences that lead us away from godliness.
1 Corinthians 15:33 - Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals
1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV): "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'"
While this verse primarily refers to the company we keep, it also holds relevance for the media we consume. The people and content we surround ourselves with can either uplift our morals or erode them. It's a sobering reminder that our choices in media can impact our character and values.
Romans 12:2 - Transformation Through Renewed Minds
Romans 12:2 (ESV): "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Paul's exhortation to the Romans emphasizes the renewal of the mind. As Christians, we are called to transform our thinking and discern God's will. Engaging with negative content can hinder this transformation. Instead, we should focus on renewing our minds through Scripture, prayer, and uplifting media that aligns with biblical values.
Ephesians 5:3-4 - Avoiding Obscene and Filthy Talk
Ephesians 5:3-4 (ESV): "But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving."
These verses from Ephesians underscore the importance of avoiding impurity, filthiness, and crude talk. They remind us that as followers of Christ, we are called to live differently and to avoid content that promotes immorality or obscenity.
1 John 2:15-17 - The World and Its Desires
1 John 2:15-17 (ESV): "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."
These verses caution against loving the world and its desires. In the context of media consumption, it reminds us not to be enamored by the values and desires promoted by worldly content. Instead, we should align our hearts with the will of God, which endures forever.
What Does the Bible Say About Watching Bad Things?
The Bible provides clear guidance on how we should approach the media we consume. It encourages us to focus on what is true, pure, and praiseworthy while avoiding negative and harmful content. By applying these principles, we can guard our hearts, renew our minds, and ensure that our media choices align with our Christian values. Ultimately, it's about cultivating a mindset that seeks after God and His righteousness, even in the digital age.