Oh, Be Careful

I’m sure many of you have heard the children’s song that says,

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

For the Father up above,

Is looking down in love.

So, be careful little eyes what you see.

The song also includes, “oh, be careful little ears what you hear,” and, “oh, be careful little tongue what you say,” in its verses. I remember this song being sung in my early childhood Sunday school days, but much to my surprise, I only now understand the importance of this song’s message.

What about this song from my childhood holds relevance today?

In our world of instantly accessible entertainment in abounding limitless outlets, how do we as Christ-followers set ourselves apart from what the world is feeding us?

In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes that we take every thought captive to obey Christ. Our eyes can easily influence our hearts and our minds. Paul also says in Philippians 4:8,

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy – dwell on these things.”

When we follow Paul’s instruction, we will grow our faith and deepen our love and desire for knowing Jesus and pursuing holiness. This poses the question, how do you feed your eyes, ears, and mind?

Let’s talk about entertainment. What entertainment do you find yourself partaking? Music? Television shows? Movies? Social media? Games? Now, know that listening to music or watching television or a movie is not a sin. However, there a two questions we should ask when choosing our entertainment. First, what is the content of our entertainment? And, second, how much of our time are we giving?

It’s no secret that much of today’s entertainment content is inappropriate and glorifying sin, which can make it even more difficult to resist. Friends, I plead with you to be vigilant. When I’m talking about immoral content, I’m not just talking about viewing pornography. I’m talking about the television shows and movies that are filled with lust, sexual immorality, and profanity.

For example, I understand that some of today’s most popular shows and movies are the show Game of Thrones and the movie After (which is very popular amongst teenagers on Netflix). Both of these are filled with sex and profane language, and yet we deem them okay because “they’re just shows/movies”. If we saw some of the scenes in that show and movie in person, we would find it perverse and turn away, so why are we okay with seeing it on a screen? Is there really a difference?

In Scripture, we are told to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) and to set our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2). One way we can do that is to be careful of what we are feeding our hearts and minds. When I read 1 Corinthians 15:33, which says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals,’” I see it as more than just physical human company, but also the company of entertainment. My brothers and sisters in Christ, do not fall victim to the excuses of “skipping over the bad scenes” or “not singing the curse words in the song” like I once did. Do not overlook immorality and ungodliness.

From personal experience, I can tell you that you may be teased or deemed as “prude” for not wanting to watch certain shows/movies or listen to certain music that your friends are watching and listening to. Even Peter warns us of this in 1 Peter 4:3-6. But I can also tell you from personal experience that someone will always ask you WHY you choose not to partake. We are called to be different and set apart – as Christ’s followers, we are not of this world. Jesus ate with sinners, but he never took part in their sin. Jesus spent time with sinners, but he never affirmed their actions.

What are some practical ways we can be careful of what we are feeding our hearts and minds? First, we can manage our time spent with entertainment, especially if we find ourselves in front the television or scrolling through our social media apps more than we find ourselves opening the Word or talking to God. Second, we can begin our day with Jesus (my biggest struggle currently) – instead of instantly jumping on social media or checking our email when we grab our phones in the morning, we can start out with a prayer of gratitude to our Savior. Third, we can use the tools provided to us like physically setting screen time limits or using rating controls/filters on streaming services (my husband and I recently starting filtering what TV and movie ratings we can/cannot have the option of viewing).

Trust me when I say I’m not only speaking to the readers of this blog; I’m also speaking directly to myself. I sit convicted as I type these words. We always talk about the “how far is too far” mindset with dating, but we should also use that for our entertainment choices as well. Instead of trying to push as far as we can go without stepping over the line, we should be asking if what we are watching or listening to is glorifying God. Are our media diets enriching our time with Christ or eroding it?

Ultimately, as we pursue Christ above all else and allow his beauty to be known in our lives, the fleeting pleasures and entertainment of the world will become less desirable and less enticing, and the God of our salvation will become glorified.