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February 9, 2013 by Kara Nichols

Last night I asked the Holy Spirit to speak to me, and I received this question: Does God want me watching R rated films? And then that song from Sunday school came to mind. “Oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking doing in love so be careful little eyes what you see.”

My initial thought? Honestly? Was “Crap!”

I’ve just watched whatever movie I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. God just wasn’t in the equation at all.

But I see now how that that is leftover junk from when I wasn’t a Christian. I believe God does care what I watch. In fact, He even says so in Philippians 4:8-9 says, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

And that’s when I realized that I need to stop watching R rated films and some television shows. I will leave a space open for the rare case in which it would be ok to watch an R rated film or show, but I highly doubt that will happen.

With this new idea heavy on my heart I realized I won’t be seeing the moving Identity Theft, which looks HILARIOUS to me but it’s rated R and there’s probably some content I can live without. I also went through my Netflix queue and got rid of at least 20 films. Including the newest season of Weeds which comes out next week and I was excited for, but it was getting a little wacky and I doubt I’m missing anything.

And then there’s the films that I own. Most of which are rated R. One, in particular, has been my favorite for years: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Bill Murray stars in it, who is my favorite actor. And it has to go. That, along with about a dozen other movies, will be heading to Good Will this weekend. !!! I wish I could express how big of  deal this is, how much my identity was wrapped up in that movies and others. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Does the fact that I was creating a “Life Aquatic” themed bathroom express my old love for that film?? Yeah. The posters came down, I’m going to do something else in there.

Now, I know a lot of Christians who watch R rated movies without guilt, and I know some non-Christians who don’t watch R rated movies. So it’s a mixed bag. I’m not trying to preach here, just share my experience. I wasn’t planning on ditching everything R rated yesterday, but that’s where God took me. It was an area that was from my old way of thinking. I have been made new in Jesus and that means that certain aspects of life must change. It’s totally worth it.
It hasn’t been such an instant transformation with my music. Yes, I’ve stopped listening to artists like Eminem. And if I ever start again I’ll buy the clean version. Although even without the cuss words that kind of music isn’t exactly uplifting to me.

I have to admit I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with Christian music. I’ve never liked it and I still dislike most of it. I know this is horrible to say, but there’s just something missing in most of Christian music: lack of talent? passion? It’s probably just me. I turned my back on Christian artists when I was very young. I wanted what my parents said I couldn’t have: secular music. And I never looked back, until recently.

I’m finding that I really enjoy gospel music. And I’ve created a station on Pandora based on U2 and it actually plays quite a bit of good Christian songs that I enjoy. I don’t know why music has been this long drawn out process and I was able to give up R rated material at the drop of a hat. God moves in mysterious and amazing ways.

I’m sure there will be some PG-13 movies I will skip as well. And maybe more artists besides Eminem that I will give up. It does sting a little. I don’t know about you but I feel like I am giving up part of what makes me, me. And I certainly am. But who am I to question God’s leading? Clearly I heard from Him. I know this to be a fact. It probably never would have occurred to me otherwise that I would need to give up R rated movies and questionable television shows. But here I am. Happy to trade in my old lifestyle for a new one. I do believe I’m getting the better part of the deal. Lord knows I’d only give up most Bill Murray movies for Him.

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