Don The Armour

January 15, 2024

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.

Psalm 119:37 (ESV)


The New Year is always a time of reflection for me. I like to look back at the last year, consider what I did well and where I could improve, and think about what I want to focus on in the coming year. After thinking about Psalm 119:37 for several months, I decided my focus for 2024 will be on purging worldliness from my life, especially in entertainment and media.

Media and entertainment have become so prominent in our lives that most people expect to be entertained almost every moment they aren’t working. The market effectively satisfies this desire and has created technologies that have destroyed our attention spans. We no longer give our minds space to wander, to take joy in simple things, or to study or meditate. Most people can’t even read anymore because it’s not stimulating enough for them. At the same time, the media we’re consuming has become more nefarious. Mainstream music is practically aural pornography, video games and movies are non-stop violence and death, and the worst one of all, social media, is one giant machine that discovers your lusts and feeds them to you indefinitely. These things are the definition of “worthless,” and my prayer this year is the same as David’s: turn my eyes from them.

While I know that this is a spiritual battle that will require aid from God, I also know there are practical steps I can take on my own toward this goal. First, everything I willingly consume must pass a basic, one-question test: “Does this help my walk with Christ, or does it separate me from him?” Listening to music or watching movies that depict or glorify something that Christ hates (and died for) requires us to forget him and his sacrifice. We have to either push him out of our minds or turn it off. I’m no longer willing to ignore my conscience and my God, so I will choose the latter.

People will likely say this is extreme. I can hear the opposing arguments, as I’ve probably used them before myself. Statements like:

“It’s just entertainment; you can separate it from reality.”

If that’s how you feel, that’s fine; I’m not trying to convince anyone to adopt my convictions. But we live in a time when the tools available to Satan to corrupt us would be unimaginable to people of the past. These forces don’t require some moderate, compromising reaction but extreme opposition. It’s more apparent to me now than ever that the Christian must stand out and be seen as an outsider in almost every facet of life. Our very existence should be a rebellion against this world.

I have recently opened my eyes to what kids are now exposed to through social media and entertainment. I always knew it was bad, but what I’ve seen now is much worse than anything I could have imagined. It struck me as nothing short of all-out spiritual war. If you don’t believe me, find a 16-year-old who attends public school and talk to them about what kind of music is popular and what happens on social media. Ask them about “body counts” (and consider the depravity of this common term). You’ll quickly see what I mean.

The average age of exposure to pornography now is 12 years old. This is not a political issue; it’s a spiritual one. If we want to raise children who can stand against this, we must stand against it ourselves. How can we tell our children the evils of social media when we use it ourselves? How can we explain the price of sin when they see us entertained by it on the TV every night?

My conviction is this: change must start with me. No longer will I allow the world to pump its digital sewage into my home. No longer will I compartmentalize my faith to ignore the hypocrisy of my media choices being at odds with my spiritual beliefs. No longer will I be entertained by the sin for which Christ was crucified.

We must look away from these worthless things and look to Jesus. His ways give life; all other ways are death.