May 21, 2010
Dying for Some Entertainment
"You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own."
Leviticus 20:26 (NIV)
"How can we allow ourselves to be entertained by the things that Jesus died for?" This questions bounded around and around in my head and heart as I watched TV, chose movies, and tuned my radio dial. I heard it at a retreat earlier this year, and it has stuck with me like a burr in my sock after a walk in the woods. It came to my thoughts so often as I soaked in the entertainment of my culture, and it brought conviction on a regular basis.
There was one night in particular that the quote broke powerfully into my life. My son had received a whole season's recording of one of our favorite television comedies. After watching several episodes, I found myself squirming in my chair. Our family has begun reading the Bible through in a year, and we had just completed Leviticus. Time after time as God finished a section of the Law, He would declare, "You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own" (Lev. 20:26). As a family, we had read this phrase over and over.
The Old Testament law makes it clear that the wages of sin are truly death. Until reading these passages myself, I had operated under the false assumption that the Israelites only made a few sacrifices a year. The fact is that 1,231 animals were sacrificed each year in order for the Israelites to fulfill the law. In God's grace, He allowed animals to be sacrificed instead of insisting on the death of the humans that had committed the sin. Can you imagine, though, being a priest in the temple and watching death and blood spilled every single day? Hebrews 9:22 explains it this way, "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness" (NIV). I believe God's people must have had a very sobering view of the cost of sin and the price of forgiveness.
How lightly I often treat sin today! Jesus, the Lamb of God, paid the ultimate price in giving His life. He allowed His own blood to be shed so that He could be the Sacrifice of all sacrifices. He was the final and complete sacrifice. Jesus' death set us free from sin and death and paved our way to a life of holiness.
As I contemplated the sitcom I was watching in light of such a sacrifice, I realized that there was a choice to be made. I could continue to laugh at things that the Bible clearly calls sin and turn my back on the gift that I had been given, or I could choose holiness. It made my heart ache that I had chosen entertainment over Jesus for even a minute, so I hit the "stop" button. I turned to my boys and softly said, "How can we allow ourselves to be entertained by the things that Jesus died for?" I gently explained to them how God had been convicting my heart and asked them to choose holiness with me.
I'm sure this will be an ongoing struggle as God calls me to evaluate my entertainment, but I'm choosing to win one small victory at a time.
Dear Lord, we are inundated everyday with choices to be made about our entertainment. I desire to honor Your sacrifice. Help me to choose wisely. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
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Evaluate your own entertainment by scriptural standards.
Do I ever feel conviction as I watch TV, take in a movie, or listen to music?
Will I accept that "nudge" as a message from the Holy Spirit to make a choice that honors God?
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)
© 2010 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 21 May 2010.