Be Careful, Little Ears

I once heard several Christians talking about a movie and I was interested in seeing that movie based on their conversations. When I looked that movie up on a website that reviews movies based on inappropriate content, I was shocked to find out that this movie used a particularly profane word sixteen different times! The Lord’s name was also used in vain nine times in that same movie. 

Friends, this is concerning. Paul writes, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers(Ephesians 4:29). He goes on to say, “...neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks (Ephesians 5:3). Do we not realize the danger and damning influence of just hearing such words over and over?

I realize that this may seem fanatical, but I’m curious, would we let our four-year-old use them? Would we tolerate such words directed toward our children, our mother, or our spouse? If we feel that such words would be inappropriate in these cases, maybe it’s time to think twice about inviting them into our homes under the guise of entertainment. I don’t want to be unfair here, but would we be comfortable talking about the Bible with our friends who are not Christians after watching a movie or a TV show that is filled with expletives? I'm not here to make you feel guilty about any questionable word that may have ever come through your television or radio. But I do want to raise an honest concern. Is it wise for us as Christians to let all kinds of language flow into our homes unchecked? 

A lot of Christians are employing such resources as TV Guardian or ClearPlay. These are devices which can be set to filter content such as certain words, groups of words, or even scenes which depict undesired sexual or violent content. This is a great idea. 

Still, I worry that movies and other media are gradually desensitizing us to all types of immorality, and I’m afraid that we are allowing them to by continuing to support the garbage that many movies and television shows are promoting. We may view it in some filtered form, but the producers still get paid the same either way. Plus, there really is no filter for the ever-present moral subtext of movies and television these days. We might tune in to see a comedy and what we get is a plot that encourages us to view cohabitation before marriage, adultery, or homosexuality as normal and acceptable. Of course, this applies to what we listen to on the radio as well.

I know an older brother who has never set foot in a movie theatre. This isn’t because he believes the very act of going to see any movie is sinful. It is because when movies were first becoming popular, spiritually-minded people were concerned about the power of their influence and they abstained for the sake of their conscience. 

Many have said of this same man, “I wish I could teach like him”; “Oh, I wish thought like he did”; “I wish I could make the points that he makes in articles.” I wonder if the very thing that may be hindering us in imitating the example of this brother, and many other brothers and sisters like him, is our own lack of care in trying to be as separate from the world as he has tried to be. “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15, 16).

Be careful, little eyes. Be careful, little ears. Be careful, little hands. There is a Father up above looking down in tender love. Our children try so hard to imitate us. In like manner, the children of God should be striving to be more and more like our Heavenly Father each day.