The apostle Paul said, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).
There are three filters we must apply to anything and everything we watch and do:
- Is it pure
- Is it helpful
- Will it bring us closer to God?
Love Island is a show on ITV2 which has taken the UK by storm for the past few summers, putting a group of young singles in a beach villa for the summer and forcing them to pair up or be sent home, and encouraging frequent “re-coupling”. The contestants seem to spend most of the time in minimal swimwear, and all have to share one bedroom.
Can you with a pure heart watch a show based on casual hookups, fornication and lots of swimwear, drinking and swearing? Can you with sincerity say that Love Island is a show that is noble, excellent and praiseworthy?
Is it in any way helpful to your evangelism? Can you genuinely say that only by watching it would you be able to engage others in a conversation that points them to Jesus? While it is true Paul used the poets and idols of the local communities to engage them in conversation about Jesus it is unlikely he would have used something so morally opposed to God’s standards of purity as a sermon illustration.
Does it help you grow in your walk with God? Is watching it drawing you closer to Him or leading you down the broad road that leads to destruction? Is it helping you be transformed more and more into the image of Christ, or more and more into the image of the world.
If, and only if, it passes all three tests is it then appropriate to watch. But here’s the catch. While this article is about Love Island, those tests should apply to everything we watch. We must all that we watch through those filters to seek if it the best use of our time and is helpful for our spiritual growth. Do not idly go along with what everyone else is watching but use discernment to help determine how best to use the limited time God has given us for His maximum glory.