Today’s Goal Is Not to Be Entertained
Certain subjects lead me to hop onto my soapbox. To forewarn you, this might be one of them. Run away while you can!
By the way, I left this article in the Sundries category because it’s not solid enough to be considered a Teachings article of mine. However, I will say it’s right on the border and could go either way. These are some of my unfiltered thoughts if you will.
Now, here’s what I want to say — we human beings absolutely love to be entertained. Most of us set out to find what’s most entertaining to us and just bask in it. In fact, if I had to pick one word to describe the average American today it would be this: entertained.
Who hasn’t heard of Netflix?
It has become so obvious to me how strongly we value our entertainment. Think about the popularity of Netflix, Instagram, movies, and music. I like to pick on Netflix the most.
Time posted an article explaining that the average person streams shows on Netflix for 1 hour and 33 minutes per day. And the number is definitely growing.
So you know, Instagram now has over 800 million monthly users.
Generally speaking, these examples do not exist primarily for productivity. It’s all about giving you what you want to see. Sure, in some cases you may pick up a touch of motivation, education, or inspiration that moves you. However, it’s all just stimulating eye candy.
Entertainment is a major cause of procrastination in our culture. If we weren’t so focused on being entertained all the time then we could get a lot of productive things done.
Take a look at the presidency.
Whoops — I just went there. Let’s be real honest. Entertainment has even made its way into the oval office.
I can guarantee you Donald Trump got more votes than Hillary Clinton, at least in part, due to his entertaining air-time. He is a hoot to watch on television. And I don’t disagree. He’s a professional entertainer. Many Americans chose Donald Trump because he’s an entertaining conservative.
To my knowledge, he didn’t get elected as President because of his integrity, character, or godliness.
That’s about all I’ll say about politics, but I had to throw that one out there for you to think about.
We all crave something greater than ourselves.
Another aspect of this subject can be found deeper into the heart of the issue. We all long to find something outside of ourselves that encompasses more power, perfection, and pleasure. There’s something in us that always feels the need to be wowed.
My Christian worldview involves a living God that satisfies my wow cravings. I’m able to satisfy my hunger by encountering the Lord in the local church, in prayer, and Bible study. I meet God in those settings and my soul is satisfied.
God is far more entertaining to me than Netflix. And I love watching Netflix. It’s just that I’m able to turn it off anytime and get my mind blown by what God has revealed to us in his Word.
What we choose to fill our mind with is important. I normally read the Bible for at least an hour per day. Most people do not read the Bible this much. The average American is watching more than one hour of Netflix per day. By this data, we can see that most people seek to watch Netflix more than seeking to know God.
Wait, here’s an idea — let’s combine the two and just watch The Bible series on Netflix every day! Problem solved!
Are you saying that entertainment is sinful or something?
Now, I said this wasn’t a Teachings post. These are mostly just thoughts of mine. I won’t lay down a ton of Scripture. But it’s worth at least mentioning something about sin.
We need to examine our hearts and test ourselves. We need balance. In one sense, I would submit that entertainment is totally a sin if we allow it to become something it’s not supposed to be.
For example, I’ve brought this up before in another article — is eating fruit a sin? What about eating an apple? Well, eating fruit is not a sin unless God tells you not to eat it like he did that one time in the Garden of Eden.
Sometimes we let good things get in the way of the God things. When we do, good things become sinful things. Entertainment is one of those things that can become a sinful thing if we don’t enjoy it in proper moderation.
What does a healthy balance look like? I’d say just check your heart.
How have you denied yourself?
These thoughts are directed mostly towards my Christian brothers and sisters (as most of my articles are). Let me ask you Christians this: how are you denying yourself today?
We are taught to take up our cross and follow Jesus every day. How can you do this while watching almost two hours of Netflix every day? Why not read a little bit of Scripture and really soak in a passage to let it change your heart?
The world’s goal today is to find another Netflix series to watch. It’s the most important goal they have. You were made for more. Your worth and abilities are greater than seeking entertainment. You were made to make a difference in this world (line from our recent sermon series at CrossPoint).
Put some thought into this idea of entertainment. Do you find yourself seeking entertainment each day? What are your thoughts? Am I way off? Am I right on? Let’s chat about this idea of needing to be entertained all the time.