Tell me if you’ve had this experience.
My husband and I went to the theater to check out a movie that several of our Christian friends recommended. They told us it was hilarious and "pretty clean." And it was rated PG-13. Fifteen minutes into the movie we had heard so much profanity and sexual innuendos that both of our faces were red. Ten minutes later we decided we couldn’t stomach it, and we walked out. The $20 we spent on movie tickets went straight down the drain. We had to eat our popcorn (with extra butter) in the car, and we were left wondering how to better protect our hearts and minds in the future. Bummer!
Sometimes the stakes are higher than a wasted evening. Exposing ourselves to toxic media can leave us prone to fear. It can lead to unholy fantasy lives and desensitize us to sin. The result can be some serious bondage.
Clearly, as Christians we need to make wise media choices, but that can be tough! Movie previews and ratings rarely give us a clear picture of the movie’s content. We can’t check out music lyrics without allowing them to seep into our brains. Our culture’s standards are so low that media advertised as clean too often isn’t.
It can be tough to know what to watch read and listen to and what to avoid. Here are a couple of websites I use to help me be a discerning media consumer.
www.pluggedinonline.com is a great resource for making wise choices about movies, television, and music. Their reviews are fair, honest, and balanced.
www.discerningreader.com offers reviews on lots of books. It’s a great place to stop by before you head to the bookstore.
I also try to keep my ears open when others talk about their media choices. If I hear things like "it was funny but it had some questionable parts," or "a couple of the scenes were pretty bad" or "it was clean for the most part" or even "it wasn’t that bad," I know I’d better stay away.
How do you decide what media to consume and what to avoid? Are there any resources that you use as a safety net to protect your heart in this area?