DVTurn It Off!Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way. —Psalm 119:37
Keep a journal of how many hours of television you watch for two weeks. How many hours do you devote to TV on average?
Shut off your television for two weeks. What differences can you see in your spiritual life and prayer life as a result?
Television often has imperceptible but damaging effects on our spiritual relationship with God.
No matter how good or innocuous the programs you select are, television has a subtle way of hypnotizing you and removing your spiritual yearning to meet with God. TV fills the emptiness of our souls temporarily, the way junk food fills our stomachs—the satisfaction is worthless and momentary. We end up craving for more TV, when our souls actually hunger for the peace and abidance of God.
The more we watch, the more we become immune to the secular values and practices that TV programs portray. Too many programs push the boundaries of morality and appropriate behavior in order to draw the attention of greater audiences. These programs affect our ability to keep our hearts pure and holy. Jesus teaches us, "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness" (Mt 6:22-23). What passes through your eyes can affect your whole being.
Watching TV also steals time away from God, family, and daily responsibilities. One time, I kept a journal of how much time I was watching TV. Granted, I was selectively watching only "good" programs. But I was surprised to find after two weeks that it amounted to an average of two to three hours of TV per day. No wonder my prayers had become more weak and feeble! No wonder I felt no desire to seek God in my prayers and had a hard time concentrating! Another time, I disconnected my television for one year. That turned out to be a very fruitful year.
"The TV is my shepherd, my spiritual growth shall want," someone once wrote.
It maketh me to sit down and do nothing for His name's sake...Jesus also said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell" (Mt 5:29). For the sake of a better, more fruitful life, I'd rather shut off the TV.
It presenteth entertainment before me
and keepeth me from doing important things for my family.
It filleth my head with ideas which differ
from those in the Word of God.
Surely no good thing will come of my life
because of so many wasted hours,
And I shall dwell in my regrets and remorse forever.