Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Television, The Great Life-Waster

This is an excerpt out of John Piper's book called Don't Waste Your Life

Television is one of the greatest life-wasters of the modern age.  And, of course, the Internet is running to catch up, and may have caught up.  You can be more selective on the Internet, but you can also select worse things with only the Judge of the universe watching.  TV still reigns as the great life-waster.  The main problem with TV is not how much smut is available, though that is a problem.  Just the ads are enough to sow fertile seeds of greed and lust, no matter what program you're watching.  The greater problem is banality.  A mind fed daily on TV diminishes.  Your mind was made to know and love God.  Its facility for this great calling is ruined by excessive TV.  The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the mind to think worthy thoughts withers, and the capacity of the heart to feel deep emotions shrivels.  (Don't Waste Your Life, p.120)

Now here is a story from Pipers book of a young 14 year old man who did not waste his life.

He fast-talked his way into the Marines at fourteen, fooling the recruits with his muscled physique...Assigned to drive a truck in Hawaii, he had grown frustrated; he wanted to fight.  He stowed away on a transport out of Honolulu, surviving on food passed along to him by sympathetic leathernecks on board. 

He landed on D-Day (at Iwo Jima) without a rifle.  He grabbed on lying on the beach and fought his way inland.  Now, on D+1, Jack and three comrades were crawling through a trench when eight Japanese sprang in front of them.  Jack shot one of them through the head.  Then his rifle jammed.  As he struggled with it a grenade landed at his feet.  He yelled a warning to the others and rammed the grenade into the soft ash.  Immediately, another rolled in.  Jack Lucas, seventeen, fell on both grenades.  "Luke, you're gonna die," he remembered thinking....

Aboard the hospital ship Samaritan the doctors could scarcely believe it.  "Maybe he was too damned young and too damned tough to die," one said.  He endured twenty-one reconstructive operations and became the nation's youngest Medal of Honor winner - and the only high school freshman to receive it.  (Don't Waste Your Life, p.127)

Here is John Pipers plea:

"Oh, that young and old would turn off the television, take a long walk, and dream about feats of courage for a cause ten thousand times more important than American democracy - as precious as that is."

So I ask myself:  how much of my life was wasted watching TV when I could have been doing something courageous for the Kingdom of God that would have made much of God?  Even if turned off the TV to read books, just imagine how many books I could have read, books that could have shaped my life and conformed me to the image of Christ.  Or even if I turned off the TV to pray, just think how many prayers would have been answered.  Or even if I turned off the TV to spend more real time with my family, how much stronger and God-exulting would my family be.

Turn off the TV.  If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.  If your TV causes you to waste your life, throw it out the window.

Don't waste your life.

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