Entertainment and God
Recent technological advances gave our generation constant access to all forms of entertainment. We are daily presented with a slew of media for our enjoyment. It does not have to be Christmas time or our birthday for us to be entertained. For example, there are numerous streaming services, such as Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus, where we can have an all-day instant access to any movie or show we want to watch. On the other hand, we have videogame services that have inundated our homes, especially attracting our teenagers, becoming an addiction for some.
This reality raises important questions for Christians. First, what kind of entertainment should believers choose? Christians want to know how to make good entertainment choices: what forms of fun are appropriate and inappropriate for believers? What movies, TV shows, or video games are OK, and which are off limits? Secondly, how much is too much? How much time can believers devote to entertainment?
Believers ask such questions because we live in the constant tension of being in this world but not of this world. Jesus recognized this reality and prayed to the Father for His disciples to be sanctified by the truth of the Word of God and protected from evil. At the same time, there is a place for entertainment in our lives. The Bible says that God has given us all things richly to enjoy. Our Heavenly Father is fun. He is not a killjoy. In Christ we are given liberty to make personal choices. Everything is permissible to us, but not everything is beneficial. We are free to make wise choices.
To use our freedom wisely, we follow certain guidelines. First, we should never use our liberty to indulge our flesh, worldly lusts, or sinful desires. We are not free to sin. We are free to serve Christ. We are also free to serve others. This leads to the second guideline. While we are free to do whatever we want, our freedom should never be a stumbling block to another. So, if we know that a fellow Christian, a family member, or a friend is bothered by our entertainment choice, we should not make it. If we abide between these two guidelines, we will choose wisely and glorify God even while being entertained.