As of 9pm Sunday (3/1) I could officially watch TV again--though I was in no hurry to do so! My month-long “Big TV Turnoff” was a HUGE success, and I’m pleading with you to give it a try! Here are a few tips to help you, and keep you motivated:
- Have alternatives ready to go. Not necessarily entertainment alternatives, like DVDs and video games. Choose a few of the projects that you’ve been putting off for months, even years, and get after them right away! This is a great time to get back in shape, both physically and mentally! The sense of accomplishment will be a big incentive to continue strong in your TV Turnoff.
- Get right into God’s Word. If you hadn’t spent much, or ANY time reading scripture, intentionally do so at times you would normally switch on the tube. Even though my “official” turnoff is over, I still don’t watch TV in the morning; instead, I study the Bible, or read a great Christian devotional. The change in my demeanor is noteworthy—just ask my wife!
- Ask God to show you how watching TV—not to mention DVDs, magazines, even listening to certain kinds of music or talk radio—has caused you to relax your moral standards, or compromise what Scripture clearly teaches about Christian living. Make a promise to rid your life of anything that is not pure, or lovely, anything that is not true, or noble, right, or admirable—ask God to give you the strength to rid yourself of toxic things. He will help you think about that which is excellent or praiseworthy, but He won’t force you to put off the old man, and put on the new. When YOU do so, it is an act of faith, a commitment to which God will respond.
- Use some of the new time you’ve gained to connect or reconnect with Christian friends. Have you gone to dinner with another couple from church? Have you volunteered to help at school? Our TVs, computers, video games, iPods, and the like have stolen away our relationships. God created us to be connected; it’s one of His greatest gifts! Take your life back from the “tube!”
- Use some of your newfound freedom to pray. Pray for your family, for your church, for your community and its leaders, and pray that you would become sensitive to that still, small voice of God’s leadership. As you learn to listen for it, you’ll be thrilled as God begins to unfold His will for your life!
I promise that, if you intentionally seek to put entertainment in its proper place in your life, God will bless your efforts in ways I can’t imagine, but that He will design to be a special and unique blessing to you!