You know how it is when you see that AWESOME EPISODE of a series that just HOOKS YOU into watching the rest of the season online… over the next 12 HOURS!
Some might be saying, “12 hours!? … I spend my ENTIRE WEEKEND watching the whole series!” And if it’s one of those awesome classic anime or tv series we haven’t finished we might just sacrifice 3-4 hours of sleep EVERY NIGHT to catch up!
Well, if you are like many of us, when you’re all done investing long hours watching a series you feel a subtle, indescribable emptiness inside that sticks around, at least until the next binge watching session starts. Why is that?
There’s something that’s not quite fulfilled in us after those sessions. Maybe because our senses are being stimulated, but not our spirits. Could it be because watching hours of Hulu, Netflix, and CruchyRoll is a sin?
Here’s the deal… The Bible says,
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” – 1 Corinthians 6:12
As a result, we know it is NOT A SIN to watch lots of online shows, but we also know it IS A SIN to be consumed by entertainment such that it has a MASTERY over us. …including our favorite video games which we schedule our lives around.
Well, if you are one of the many bound by a cycle of binge watching but you want to know how you can stop and get closer to God, it may not be easy, but here’s how:
1) Set limits and stick to them – Like a dieter who once was bound by food you will need to restrict your diet of entertainment to what is healthy for you. In some cases, certain people may limit their favorite entertainment to hours a week, others may need to cut out certain shows or games from their lives entirely if they are to restore a healthy balance.
(The writer of this post has done the latter a few times). (1 Corinthians 9:25; Matthew 5:29-30)
2) Spend quality quiet time with God – A reluctant roll over in the bed to glance at a Bible app passage before you go to sleep is nice, but it won’t impact your walk with God like a daily deep meditation on God’s Word. If you spend quality time reading the Bible and praying to the Lord not only will you be less inclined to be consumed by entertainment, but you will also receive that good feeling of inner peace and satisfaction that online characters can’t perform. (Psalm 119:11; Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 18:2)
3) Withdraw or distance yourself from communities that will convince you NOT to do 1 & 2 – Accountability partners are great to help you get to, and stay, where you want to be. But the opposite is true also. If I want to diet to lose weight it’s probably best I stay away from your regularly attended food tasting meetups at buffets. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out with your friends who still binge watch if they are encouraging toward your efforts to stop and grow closer to God. If your community is encouraging maybe you can talk about something new? Or maybe they can fill you in on the drama of the show while you use that time elsewhere? Or maybe you will even inspire them to do the same and help them draw closer to God? But, if your communities are not encouraging they may ridicule you for your effort to be more Christ-like. If so, it’s probably time to find a new community that can encourage you to be the better you that you are trying to be… (Psalm 1; Proverbs 27:17)
When it’s all said and done, too much of anything (except God) is bad for anyone. But just because too much of something can be bad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy it in bundles! Be intimate with the Holy Spirit and let Him lead you in finding out how much is too much. 🙂
Are you stuck in a cycle of binge watching, game playing, or food eating? Not sure if you crossed the fine line of much consuming and being consumed? Need help getting delivered and free? If so, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can pray with you!