Several years ago the parents of a particular family were introduced to a stranger. He seemed like a decent guy, so they invited him into their house. To their surprise, this stranger was an incredible storyteller and very personable (even if he was an incessant talker). The kids especially loved him. He would walk everyone’s imaginations through adventures and mysteries. He would tell jokes until their stomachs hurt from laughing. He even had unparalleled knowledge of animals and other facts about life.
It didn’t take long for this stranger to become quite popular with the family. You might even say that he became a family friend. This stranger connected so well with the family that they decided to let him stick around for a while. Almost every day he would captivate the family for hours with his incredible tales.
Even though this family was an upright and faithful Christian family, the stranger didn’t seem to want to abide by their rules. He would use bad language that made the parents shift uncomfortably, but they never said anything to him about it. He drank often and encouraged them to do the same. Sometimes he would light up a cigarette or cigar right in front of them. He really made it look cool and popular There were even a few times when he brought drugs. Beyond all of this, he talked openly about sex. He would use suggestive, blatant, and descriptive terms. He told the family it was okay to have sex before marriage and that homosexual relationships were no big deal. Still though, the parents felt uncomfortable and didn’t want to interrupt him since he had become such a loved part of the family. Day after day this stranger was bringing these things into the house, but was never rebuked or corrected for his bad influence.
What was this stranger’s name? This family simply called him…TV.
Nearly every household in America loves this stranger. 99% of all American households have a TV in the home. “According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube” (csun.edu).
We would NEVER allow an actual person to come into our homes speaking and acting in such ways. So why do we allow it to happen through the TV?
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
This applies to every part of our life. Does our TV watching fit within these guidelines?