i have a confession to make.
i already confessed it to God last night and now i’m confessing it to you in the hopes that this will make me even more accountable.
a little history… last year in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) we studied Isaiah. it was amazing and convicting. if i had to sum it up in one thought it would be this: “don’t worship idols.” seems pretty simple, right? i have no little wooden or metal statues of weird gods around my house that i pray to or bow to or leave food for. so, check that one off the list and move on.
fast forward to this year as we are studying Acts and several other New Testament books. idol worship is again an issue only now the definition is a little more in your face: “an idol is anything or anyone that takes your focus from God.” hmmm. not quite so cut and dried. a little more pokey. that can mean that something that was not an idol yesterday may be an idol today and not tomorrow. it’s all in how i respond to it. it’s about my treatment of it, heart toward it, motivation in having it.
i confess that i have an idol in my life.
if i’m perfectly honest, this has been coming on since last year. last year. geez…i’m a little slow. quite often, i would hear the question, “is there anything in your life that could be considered an idol?” and, “is there anything that causes you to take your focus off God?” and then, “remember that if something came quickly to your mind, that’s most likely the conviction of the Holy Spirit.” sure something popped into my mind and just as quickly the justification monkeys start explaining it away.
justification monkeys. i just came up with that just now. i kinda like it. think kooky chaos and loud screeching to distract you from whatever else is going on. monkeys creep me out – especially when people dress them in clothes. i recently saw Wicked – those monkeys in Oz really creep me out…always have.
so last night i was watching some show on Netflix. it was an interesting show, but it was foul. the language, the innuendo, the topics. foul. i kept watching – several 30-minute episodes. i was almost ready for bed and kinda had an icky feeling. i get icky feelings when i watch icky stuff – it’s like i have a physical reaction to it. so i decided to watch something less icky to get rid of the ickiness i had just ingested for the last two hours.
and that’s when it finally hit me. what God has been telling me over and over. it was like a punch in the stomach and a lightbulb in the brain. IDOL.
i can’t explain it fully. i can’t really give you all the reasons or explain my thought processes or reason through it. i just knew, in that instant that television had become my idol. i was turning to it for comfort, for relaxation, for escape, for encouragement, for happiness, for a lot of things that A) it can’t provide and B) God provides truly and deeply and fully and really.
i turned it off and prayed. i confessed. and i made a decision. i am giving up television. indefinitely. i tried to bargain with God and put a timeframe on it, but He was deafeningly silent about the length of time i was to fast from tv. i have a feeling it will be until i don’t want to watch it any more…
i realize this may come across as fanatic, crazy and down-right un-American. i’m sorry, but i just can’t do it. i just can’t continue to ignore God’s request. He is my Lord and that means He gets to make the rules. frankly, i’m a little surprised He’s been so patient with me. i mean, He is known for His enduring patience, but i’ve been really dense and blatantly disobedient to His nudging for awhile now. i’m a little surprised my tv didn’t just die sometime over the last year or mysteriously stop working or burst into flames… i think the results of my disobedience have been a little more personal, but that’s a blog for another day.
if you’ll indulge me, i’ll keep you posted as to how it’s going. i’ll let you know what effect tv has on me by blogging about what the reverse is doing for me. future posts will not be this long. and they will have pictures. promise.
note: please do not take this as a judgement on you if you watch tv. this is a personal conviction. we are each answerable to God for what He directs each of us to do. it is not our place to assume the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others.