“We were made for wonder, but we’ve settled for entertainment. God built us to crave true, fulfilling joy. But for many of us, that God-given craving for heart satisfaction has driven us past God Himself, who was meant to be the fulfillment of those desires, toward a drug that dulls the ache of dissatisfaction and disappointment but never truly fulfills us.
I have a new purse that still makes me a little happy when I look at it. It is okay if I spend some money on a purse—and I did spend a bit too much on it. But it’s not necessarily a sin to spend too much on a new purse.
The sin is that I think it is going to satisfy some craving in me, apart from Jesus.
We’ve traded the wonder and satisfaction of a deep relationship with our Creator for Netflix, social media, and a new purse.”
Jennie Allen in her book “Nothing to Prove”.
What if our social media addiction and overconsumption of TV shows is just a symptom of a deeper root cause: the lack of a close relationship with God in our lives? I can not count the amount of times that I have used entertainment to escape my negative feelings. TV shows are my favorite escape. The last thing I want to do when I’m having a bad day or when I’m arguing with my husband is seek God’s counsel. I don’t want to spend time with God when I’m feeling angry or disappointed. It’s always so tempting to just escape for awhile and binge watch TV or spend a few hours on social media.
This is what I’ve learned so far: binge-watching TV feels good for a little while, but sooner or later I will have to face reality again. I often end up feeling even worse when I escape my problems through entertainment, because once I must face reality again I haven’t gained any wisdom. It’s hard to turn to God when I’m angry, sad or disappointed but every time I choose Him over entertainment I end up being grateful that I did. There have been multiple times when I’ve argued with my husband that I’ve gotten exactly the wisdom I needed when I’ve chosen to turn to prayer instead of TV.
The biggest reason I want to choose TV over prayer when I’ having a bad day is because TV offers amusement but God offers truth. Sometimes I come to God in prayer saying something like this: “God I’m having a bad day, I need your help. Did you see the way my husband was talking to me when we argued? He’s being an idiot!” God’s answer often sounds something like this: “Are you being respectful, kind and loving in your actions right now? No. I’m going to need you to be the first one to say sorry. Don’t worry about your husband. You need to focus on your part in this argument.” Do you see why I’d rather choose to binge-watch TV? The truth stings sometimes. When I choose to escape reality through entertainment I can continue to be stubborn and full of pride. When I seek God’s counsel through prayer it’s impossible to not be humbled.