Why do we go to entertainment? Kind of sounds like a redundant question, doesn’t it? “To be entertained, Genius!” That’s probably a true and honest answer. It’s also the wrong one.
Of all the sins that are condemned in the Bible, selfishness has to be the most focal of them all. A friend of mine once said that all sin can be traced back to selfishness. It’s all about foregoing what God wants and what is best for other people and chasing after what I want, placing myself above everyone else. In that way, selfishness and pride are essentially synonyms.
God certainly pays a lot of attention to the vice, that’s for sure. A “haughty look” is the of the seven deadly sins. It was the downfall of Moses, the weakness of Jacob, and the bane of the twelve, placing everything from birthright to security over the will of God. If the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, then the love of self is more so. Indeed, the love of self is the root of the love of money.
That is exactly why we are treading dangerous ground when sit back in a lazy boy with a coke and popcorn and growl “Entertain me!” Our attitude isn’t too far removed from Jabba the Hutt. The difference is that our slave girls don’t dance in our den; they dance on our television screen. It’s an attitude that places my pleasure and my enjoyment above all else, which is why it’s so closely connected to the pitfalls of sexual sin. The same attitude permeates them both.
Does that mean that all entertainment is sinful? Absolutely not. I just recently (in a post you can read here) that the Bible is media. God chose media to portray his will to us because it is so powerful. If it were inherently evil he would not have. The difference is in how it is used. Media can be a very powerful tool if we use it properly. It influences us, often getting as much time with us as our friends and family, but without having to answer to our objections. It is then one of the most powerful influences in our lives. The thing we often fail to see, however, is that we can use it for a positive influence just as much as a negative one.
Courageous. Fireproof. October Baby. The Ultimate Gift. All movies that promote Christian ideas, if not Christianity itself. Yet we often reject such movies because “I can’t stand the acting” or “that’s not my kind of movie.” Let me ask you then, what is your kind of movie? One filled with bloodshed, profanity, sex, and selfish behavior?
The answer to the entertainment question is not to abstain from all entertainment, but rather to be proactive about it; to be selective about what you choose to engage in and to choose things that influence us in a positive way. Those won’t always be things that preachy and loud in their Christianity, but they will always be things that line up with God’s will.
So then, the reason to be “entertained” is not so that we can seek pleasure and amusement. Rather it is so that we can be encouraged in our life to pursue those things that lead us more and more towards God and His will.