WARNING: This Post Could Change Your Life

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

A few months ago Rhonda and I cancelled our cable subscription with Comcast. The timing could not have been worse since the Stanley Cup Playoffs were in full swing. But there would always be some kind of sporting event that could have prevented our decision (and often did). But not this time. We finally pulled the plug.

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From this graphic, “cutting the cord” is a growing trend.

This action caps a long struggle lasting (I hate to admit it) over 5 years!?! We didn’t cancel due to poor service or bad programming (though the cost was ridiculous). We actually took time to evaluate the place of TV in our lives. We took the plunge. We’ve made some positive changes as a result.

Three Main Reasons For Cancelling

  1. Practically, there are internet/wi-fi options available like Netflix and Amazon that were not available only a few years ago. So many shows, movies, and specials are available so that network TV is not necessary. We are free to watch these shows when we want to. We don’t have to endure one commercial after another. Not as much time is involved. We are watching good programming much of which we had not previously known about.
  2. Spiritually, we faced the reality that TV is not ordinarily a friend of one’s inner life. It takes up too much time. The content, with few exceptions, contradicts the efforts we are making to bring more peace and wisdom to our hearts. We gave up on sitcoms a long while ago due to their moral vacuum. We discovered we didn’t need TV news of any kind with elite talking heads telling us how to think and what to think about. I had to face the reality that even watching sports takes up so much time with little if any spiritual value. Reality TV is not real but staged. News and sports channels with their incessant talk and repeating the same tripe over and over contribute nothing to a good and beautiful life.
  3. Morally, we did not like the values projected on us by those who have a different moral compass. The messages are one thing. The visuals are another. Men, in particular, you need to be honest with what you are really watching in such programming as “Dancing With the Stars” or “Empire” or any show with hot women strutting their stuff. You can’t control how people act or what they look like when you see them out in public. But you can control what you invite into and watch in your home.

So, here are a few questions to ask about your TV watching to discern whether to pull the plug or ditch the dish:

  • Is this the best use of my time? When I say “yes” to TV I say “no” to other activities that may be better for me. Is there a project that is being neglected? Would I profit more by reading a book that will challenge my imagination or nurture something good in me? Is there someone I need to spend time with?
  • Is what I want to watch worth it? What difference will this TV show make in my life? Will the content enrich my mind? Will it benefit my relationship with God? The real cost of bringing this content into your life needs to be evaluated.
  • What is my motivation? Will this show actually help me relax or will it create more tension in me? Am I trying to escape something I need to deal with internally or externally? It is difficult to ask “Why am I doing this?” since you may not like the answer.
  • Has TV watching become a habit – an activity I do without thinking because it is convenient and easy? There are very few things good for us that are easy. The best things usually include some degree of struggle. Do I want the best for myself?

Take some time to evaluate the place television has in your life. Be honest with yourself. You will find much good comes out of it when you do.

What do you struggle with when it comes to watching TV? What keeps you from making some changes in your viewing habits? Share below. 

Dr. K