Drastic Difference

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When Christ comes into our lives, and we decide to follow only Him, He changes who we are. Paul encouraged the Christ followers of Ephesus (an ancient city in modern day Turkey) to not live the way they used to live, before they knew Christ. Some may have had old habits and old ways of thinking that didn’t fit with being a follower of Christ. So, out of love, Paul wrote them a letter saying – you are different now, so live different!

Paul wanted to make sure the Ephesians knew just how different Christ had made them. He describes the drastic difference using light and darkness. “Live as children of light…,” he writes (Ephesians 5:8b). If you aren’t walking in light, you are walking in darkness.

Paul reminds them, “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light…” (Eph. 5:8). The more we believe and understand that we are children of light –the more naturally we will want to walk in that light. A child of light has a life characterized by good, right, and true things (Eph. 5:9). This truth – we are now children of light – should affect all areas of our lives. This includes our relationship with TV – how we watch TV, why we watch TV, and the role TV plays in our lives.

Before we knew Christ, we may have watched and talked about certain things for our own reasons. But after knowing Christ, we became children of light and Christ changed our motives and desires toward TV. Paul’s final application calls for self-examination. He challenges Christ followers, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise…” (Eph. 5:15).

Examine how you live. Specifically, consider the role of TV in your life. This is not to say TV shows are all bad and we shouldn’t watch them. Sometimes watching TV can be a really fun and relaxing way to spend time by yourself or with others. Other times, we can use TV to procrastinate, escape real life, or avoid pain.

This isn’t about being against TV. It’s about being FOR children of light. We walk as children of light partly by examining what things in our lives are in accordance with light and which things reflect darkness.

Maybe for a week, take special note of how much TV you watch. Consider the different shows you watch and how you feel or think after you watch them. Do you feel encouraged? Are your thoughts now anxious or scared? What are the main themes playing out before you? Are they mainly about relationships, sex, dating? How might this be shaping your expectations of relationships? What are these shows motivating you to do or not do?

Lastly, simply ask the Holy Spirit to show you how and why God desires you to watch TV. Ask what good can come from TV and what things may be harming you without you even being aware! Know that you are a child of light and He will empower you to walk like it!

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