My wife and I have about 13 weekly T.V. programs that we enjoy watching together. I DVR them so that we can enjoy them together at our leisure. As you can guess, after a while we begin to fall two and three weeks behind in some of our programs for one reason or another, leading us to have to try and cram in our shows whenever we find ourselves with a little free time. This, of course, causes us to spend less quality time with God.
Many times I have determined to cut down on my television watching only to break my vow to God. I enjoy "The Black List", "NCIS", "Law and Order SVU" and all the other Shows we have bonded over these past six years. The Word of God says that He is a "jealous" God, and I am feeling His jealousy burning against me whenever I spend extra time with the television rather than with Him. God's word tells us in
Matthew 18:9 (KJV)
9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Now, I like having two eyes, so I went before God and prayed that it would not come to that. I asked God not to do anything rash because of my weakness and disobedience, and the Lord spoke back to me just as clear, "do not pluck out your eye my son, just turn off the T.V.". He made it sound so simple, and after I thought about it a bit, I realized it was just that simple in my case.
I realized that as much as I loved those shows, I loved the Lord even more. God knows the heart of man and He knows mine. God knows that I would trade in all my favorite shows just to spend some quality time in His presence. I know my wife would do the same thing. I know she would not be upset with me if we were to cut out some shows in order to spend more time before the Lord, together and separately.
So why do I find it so hard to do just that? God's word says in Galatians 5:19-25 (KJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
The answer to my earlier question is too much flesh! Television provides everything mentioned in verses 19 through 21, and my flesh wants to experience those things, but verses 22 to 25 speaks about the fruit of the spirit and the one I lack the most when it comes to watching television, is "temperance".
Temperance means 1. Abstinence from or moderation in drinking alcoholic beverages. See Synonyms for abstinence.
2. Moderation and self-restraint, as in behavior or expression.
My flesh is always trying to overthrow the spirit of God in me for control of my life. To me, temperance or self-control is one of the most important fruit of the spirit because without it the flesh would quite simply destroy us with all of its desires and lust. Flesh is on parade every Sunday in the body of Christ in America, we have jealousies, lust, pride, envy, and wrath, among other issues. The time is now for Us to live and walk in the spirit as God's word tells us to.
I for one have begun to take back control of how much time I spend watching T.V. and how much time I spend seeking God. Yes, I'm still going to watch SVU and NCIS, but not at God's expense. So no matter how far we fall behind in our shows, so be it. I'm keeping my eyes and just turning off my T.V. whenever He wants me to.
God Bless You All, Brother Darrell, Speaking Off The Wall