I’ve been wanting to write this for some time now but I needed some time to collect my thoughts and properly express what was in my heart. This past year has been a year of transition and growth for me. Not just physically but most importantly spiritually. It hasn’t been easy. I’m still growing and still learning. A year or so ago I was tired of being in the same place spiritually and I wanted to grow. I had to take an honest look at my life and myself and do some spiritual inventory. God broke me down and showed me that there were parts of my life that I wasn’t fully submitting to Him. I was still trying to hold onto so many things of the world. I knew in order to grow within my relationship with Him there were certain things that I had to give up. I couldn’t serve two masters. I was either going to be 100% with God or 100% with the world. I knew with God was where I wanted to be. So that’s when I began my spiritual inventory. I started to look at things in my life that were serving as stumbling blocks, temptation growth plates, and spiritual hindrances. One of those things was television and certain shows that I was choosing to indulge in. Don’t get me wrong, television in itself is not necessarily wrong. However what we choose to watch and what we allow our eyes to see and our hearts to become open to, can be sin or lead to sin. As I began to study God’s word more, He started to convict my heart and point out shows that I was watching that were not pleasing to Him and that I needed to give up. One show in particular was Scandal. I know some of you reading this may feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with Scandal. But before you jump to any conclusions or become defensive, hear me out. I’m not judging anyone, I’m simply trying to open your eyes to some of the things that God opened my eyes to. All I ask of you is that you’re patient with me and read with an open heart. Below I’m going to tell you the reasons I stopped watching Scandal.
1 IT WAS BECOMING AN IDOL
When I say I was one of the biggest Scandal fans there was, I’m dead serious. I was a faithful, loyal, and fully committed fan. From the very first season… I watched it faithfully EVERY Thursday. And the days I wasn’t able to watch it, I would make sure I recorded it or would watch the episode online the next day. I knew all the characters, their names, their likes and dislikes. I literally was obsessed with it. I even went to the point of glorifying the show and encouraging others to watch it. I would rave on about how amazing the story line was and how amazing Shonda Rhimes was with her writing. I would even plan my day around being able to have my hour cleared so I could watch it. It no longer just became a show that I occasionally liked to watch it became a show that I began to glorify and worship. I didn’t let anything or anyone come in between me and my show. I know it sounds a bit crazy even somewhat comical but I’m dead serious. It got so bad that I would literally get upset if I missed the show. However, when I started reading God’s word more, He started to reveal to me how this obsession for this show was actually sinful in itself. I was putting this show before the true God. I knew this wasn’t pleasing to the Lord and for that reason I knew I had to give it up. Scandal was not going to save my soul but Scandal could most definitely help me lose it.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” –Exodus 20:3
2 IT PROMOTED EVERYTHING OPPOSITE THAT AS A CHRISTIAN I REPRESENTED
When you think of a word to describe the show Scandal the first word you think of is not “godly” or “christianly.” In fact it’s the exact opposite. You think of words like scandalous, deceitful, and sensual. Nothing about the show promoted things of God. As much as I hated to admit that fact, I knew it was true. In fact Scandal glorified things that were sinful. It painted them to be beautiful, appealing, exhilarating. It was a show that appealed to my fleshly, passionate, and human desires. That’s why I loved it so much. It excited and teased my flesh. It took me on a mental roller coaster and at the end of each episode it had me wanting more. And that’s the sad part. The things that exhilarated me were not godly. How could I claim to be a lover of Jesus and watch things that promoted the very things that He hated? How can murder, lying, adultery, homosexuality, deceit, and drunkenness be something appealing to me when the God I serve hated those very things? I allowed the devil to deceive me in thinking that the whole concept of a president and his mistress being together was something beautiful. That they were supposed to be together and that their relationship was so adorable. Like what? How crazy is that? There is nothing beautiful to God about an adulterous relationship. In fact the bible lets us know that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 6:9-10). So how hypocritical was it for me to watch and promote something that sought to glorify the very things that God despised. I knew every time I would watch an episode it would poison my mind and infiltrate my heart with sinful things. As I began to study more, the Lord convicted my heart even more. An unsettling in my spirit began to develop when I tried to watch the episodes. I couldn’t watch it happily anymore because I knew in my heart it wasn’t pleasing to God. I knew if Jesus was in the flesh He wouldn’t be sitting on the couch watching it with me. If I knew that fact then there was no reason I should keep watching it. If I wanted to get closer to God, I had to stop watching a show that would poison my heart, eyes, and thoughts with things that would bring me further away from Him.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:1-2
3 IT WAS POISONING MY MIND AND TEMPTING ME
Can I be real for a moment? Scandal has A LOT OF SEX SCENES. A LOT. And those of you who watch it know what I’m saying is the truth. In fact almost every episode included sex or eluded to sex. As a child of God watching scenes like that was pretty much asking the devil to have a field day in my mind. I had to realize that if I sit and allow myself to watch something that I know is not of God, I am basically letting God and myself know that I’m approving of what I watch. I knew as a Christian that it wasn’t pleasing to God. After the episodes were all said and done, those images, those scenes, those words, everything that happened within that show replayed in my mind. And then I was wondering why I couldn’t get rid of my lustful thoughts? I was wondering why I was becoming tempted so easily? Well duh! What else would I think would happen? I was infiltrating my heart, my mind, and my eyes with things not of the Lord. I had no ammunition to fight temptation or ungodly thinking because the only thing that was inside of my mind was ungodly and sinful trash. I knew I had to stop watching the show. As much as part of me wanted to continue, I knew if I wanted to save my soul and live a life pleasing to God, I had to give it up.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”-Proverbs 4:23
SO HERE’S WHAT I DID…
I went on a television and social media hiatus for 30days. I literally wanted …no I needed to purge myself of everything that was not of God. So much of my struggles and problems were arising from the things that I saw and infiltrated my mind with via television and social media. I spent those 30 days reading and studying God’s word, talking to God in prayer, making my days productive vs non-productive. I worked out, I read books that encouraged me spiritually and challenged me to be spiritually better. Every day I strove to do things that were pleasing to God and would help me grow closer to Him. I will admit some days were really hard. Some days I was tempted to give in and give up. Some days I was tempted by people even family (whether intentionally or unintentionally) to give up the commitment I had made to God. But I kept pushing through and leaned upon the Lord for my strength and for my help. Now I can look back and say I’m beyond grateful for that experience. It was truly life changing. When I emptied myself of everything that was not of God and poured God back into me it was amazing what joy and peace I found. Now today, thankfully God has rewired my spiritual taste buds. Would you believe me if I said I really don’t watch TV much anymore? Not because I think all TV is bad…but because my desire towards TV in general has changed. It all started with one show Scandal…now God has replaced a desire that was not of Him and made it so that I desire Him more than any TV show. That’s why today I take heed and try to stay spiritually alert about the things I choose to watch and put inside my heart. Even to the point of being mindful about the movies I choose to go see. I know a lot of shows and movies have come out since last year, but instead of starting a bad habit and opening a door for spiritual temptation I have chosen not to even begin watching some things. For example, the new hit TV Empire. I’m choosing not to watch it because I know nothing spiritually fruitful will come from me indulging in a show like that.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect. I struggle everyday with sin. But I truly want to make heaven my home. If I can control certain sins in my life or prevent certain sins from developing, then I want to do that. I’m not writing this to tell you what you need to do because at the end of the day everyone will have to give an account for their own actions and for their own soul. I’m not going to go through and list every show that I feel you shouldn’t watch. That’s not up to me to decide. It’s up to God’s word to decide. I just pray that you will follow the call of God and His desire for you to live a holy and righteous life for Him.
I’ll leave you with this… “Your heart is the spiritual battle ground. What you open your heart to, what you expose your eyes to, and what you infiltrate your mind with will determine who will win the war for your heart. But remember only the pure in heart will see God.”
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” –Matt 22:37-38