Recently I donated two bags filled with DVDs to the thrift store. They were delighted to get these well-known movies in excellent condition. A friend asked why I got rid of so many DVDs. I told her I couldn’t watch them anymore because they weren’t good for me. She looked at me as if wondering what kind of awful movies I’d been watching. I explained there was nothing wrong with the movies. But I’ve reached a point where, if it’s not fluffy bunnies and rainbows, I just can’t watch it anymore.
I have a history of being enslaved to fear. I’ve been through a lot of trauma and abuse, and I come from a generational line of premature death. While I have received so much healing from Jesus and continue to grow in healing, I’ve noticed certain movies have a depressing or stressful effect on me (even some kids’ movies). Other folks might not be negatively impacted by these movies, but I am, based on my history and personality.
The more healing I get, the more vulnerable I am, in a good way. Where I used to barricade my heart out of self-protection, now my heart is open, trusting God to protect me. This also means I am too sensitive to watch things I used to.
Movies are powerful. They engulf our senses and can lead to overload. They play on our emotions and trigger memories. Movies can grip our imagination and take us on a roller coaster ride, often to a stressful place, even when the story seems positive. Or they can serve as false refuges, an unhealthy escape in place of the comfort we should be seeking from God. For all these reasons and more, we need to be careful that the movies we watch aren’t hurting us.
It’s similar to watching what we eat. The food we take in affects our body. We know we have to be selective about what we eat or suffer the consequences. Likewise, the movies we watch affect our body, soul, and spirit. We have to be just as careful with what we consume with our eyes, ears, heart, and mind as we are with the food that goes into our mouth.
I love good movies as much as I enjoy good food. Nothing wrong with either one. There are still plenty of movies I can watch and enjoy, just as there are wonderful goodies I can eat. What does matter is how they affect us personally, and being aware of when we’ve passed the limit of what’s good for us. Also, we need to realize that what hurts us can change with new seasons of our life.
The world is constantly throwing noise and visuals at us, often at lightning speed and overwhelming intensity. Let’s be sure we’re paying attention to how these things affect us. Let’s be discerning about what we consume.
God desires His peace for our lives. The enemy is constantly trying to steal our peace. Often he doesn’t have to do much because we are our own worst enemy. Let’s be aware of the things we consume that steal our peace. It’s time to fill our mind and heart with good things that bless us, heal us, and help us grow closer to God, so we can flourish as the people He made us to be.
Copyright © 2020 by Janet Eriksson
Janet Eriksson is an intercessor, writer, and teacher in Dahlonega, Georgia. She loves conversation with friends, front porch swings, sweet tea, and spending time on lakes and rivers. The author of nine books and editor of many more, Janet blogs and teaches at Adventures with God and publishes Reflections Christian online magazine. She enjoys volunteering with Transformations. Janet received her M. Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary.