What we allow into our spirit through our eyes and ears has a definite affect on our spiritual lives. As violence and explicit sexual content in movies becomes increasingly accepted as normal, as well as increasingly popular with teens and young adults, it becomes more and more difficult to avoid such content when friends are allowed to see what Christians know they should not. How do you decide?
As the lines between right and wrong continue to move and blur, Christians have to be more discerning than ever. Society’s concepts of right and wrong seem to be dictated by what the majority will accept and approve, and those who stand up for what is right constantly face being challenged with the question of who gets to decide what is right and wrong.
Add to that equation peer pressure, and everyone’s basic need for acceptance, and you have a situation where you might find your back against the wall and no one in your corner, or so it seems. At this point you might find yourself debating what might be the right thing to do, and that puts you right in the path of compromise. The next step finds you trying to convince yourself. You think something along the lines of, “what can one time hurt,” or, “it’s not that bad.” Sound familiar? Everyone feels that way at one time or another. No one is a saint all the time.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you… Acts 1:8 (NIV).
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come John 16:13 (ESV).
Every Christian who has received Jesus Christ has also received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. The Holy Spirit gives discernment (the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure). You will know in your heart what is right. You will feel what my Pastor’s wife calls “a yuck in your spirit.” That’s a pretty good interpretation. For me it is an uneasy or uncomfortable feeling. If I am watching something on TV that I shouldn’t, as a Christian, watch I will get up and leave the room. If I am reading a book with things in it that I should not read, the longer I continue reading, the more uncomfortable I become.
On the other hand, you can be a very effective witness by choosing wisely. You can be an example to other Christian teens and give someone else the courage he or she needs to stand up for his or her own beliefs. Many times we go along with the crowd when we don’t really want to, and if just one person would decline to participate in seeing a questionable movie, or some other activity, then we would follow suit.
Many times people will say to me (about movies or television shows), “You wouldn’t like it, but…”. They recognize that I try to avoid things I shouldn’t see and, rather than take that as an insult, I am pleased that I am setting enough of an example for it to be known I try to practice what I preach. Not living out our beliefs is one reason people call us hypocrites. Another thing to consider is that exposure enhances desensitization. The more you see something portrayed on screen, the less you will find it objectionable in reality.
It is commonplace in movies and on television to see unmarried people living together and having a sexual relationship. I dare say that most people view sex before marriage as expected, and I will go so far as to say that your peers would be surprised and confused if a couple they know in a committed, long term relationship is not having a sexual relationship.
The bottom line is, and something everyone has to decide for himself, who do we want to please more? When you come to the place in your relationship with God that you want to please Him above all others, you will not only know what is right, you will choose it gladly.