It’s not you, it’s me.
Isn’t that what people say when they break up with someone. Well, I guess you could say that’s true with Netflix (among other networks) with us. It wasn’t so much specifically what Netflix was bringing to the table, but rather it became a realization of how that was affecting us. It became all about us, about what we needed in our lives at this point and time. Allow me to expound.
I can remember about 8 1/2 years ago driving down the street in my blue, smart car, my baby daughter buckled in the back, windows down, digging the sunshine, and enjoying my jams. The radio wasn’t blaring, but it was high enough to drown out the breeze blowing inside. I smiled at the beat, grinned at my gorgeous girl in the backseat, and I guess I chose that moment to tune my ears into the lyrics coming from my car speaker. My eyes grew big as the words became clear, and it wasn’t that I had pristine, virginal ears. I mean, I had served in the Navy, and cussing like a sailor is an aptly applied adage. I suppose I was simply surprised to hear such uncensored language on a public radio station. My eyes went to the rear view mirror again, and though my infant didn’t understand the sexual act the singer described in cutesy detail, I realized that one day she would. In fact, she’d know way too much if I kept the dial tuned there. And so began my change in music.
I’m not saying that I never listen to non-Christian (secular) music anymore, but if I were going by percentages, I’d say I listen to Christian music about 95% of the time. While it initially began with wanting something wholesome and uplifting in my vehicle with little ears listening, it ended up meaning more than that. I realized pretty quickly that songs about Jesus made me feel good. They affected me on the inside, changing my very mood and emotions. This was when I started to realize that what you put in was what fed you. I feed myself (even when I’m alone) with music that energizes my soul in a positive way.
Shortly thereafter I was reading a book by my favorite, horror author, and I began to feel sick as the writer described the twisted mind of a killer, one who found pleasure in causing pain. I closed that book, and I never picked up another from him. I had been reading all his books for twenty years, and I owned most of them in hardback edition. Eventually those left my home, and I also began to read books only by Christian authors. Did that mean that I thought non-Christian books were bad? Hardly. There are so many wonderful authors out there. I just found with books, much like music, that reading about Christ cultivated my relationship with Him. Again, feeding my spirit gave me such a positive outlook and demeanor.
Many years ago my husband and I stopped watching certain types of films or shows. It seemed like everything that came out that was considered scary (my former favorite genre) was about demonic possession, but it wasn’t just the subject. It was how they sensationalized it, somehow making it, I don’t know, cool? I just didn’t like how it made my spirit (insides) feel. It wasn’t good to open that door so flippantly.
Even over the past couple of years, we’d watch a show a few times, then end up cutting it off, knowing in our heart and agreeing together that it wasn’t something we needed to watch. Same thing with certain movies. We’d give them a try, make sure the children were out of earshot, and end up stopping them halfway through. It happened a lot.
Recently I was listening to a sermon at church. It wasn’t about what kind of television you should watch, but it was about making up your mind in life to do something. Sometimes we can know we need to diet or exercise more, but until we make a decision to stick to a certain regimen, we’ll likely put it off another day, never dedicating ourselves to a conviction we feel or a path we know God is leading us towards. We miss out on the life He has for us when we push to the back of our minds that small whisper that tells us what is right for us, and more importantly, what is wrong.
That Sunday my husband was home with our two sick daughters, but as I sat convicted and determined in the sanctuary, I plotted out how I would explain it to him.