Why Does God Care About My Entertainment Choices?
Some people think that the Bible is against having fun. While it is true that the Bible warns us against seeking frivolous, sinful pleasures that cause us to miss or neglect the important things in life (r 15:17; Lk 8:14; Jms 4:8-10), one of the wisest people in history, King Solomon, said that having fun is good for easing the strains of life and labor (Ec 8:15). However, he warns that the joy we get from fun does not last forever, so we need to be careful not to make it our number one priority (Ec 2:1-11). After having tried every form of entertainment under the sun, Solomon realized that in the end all that will matter is what we have done for God (Ec 12).
Movies, video games, music, the Internet, and other forms of entertainment can be used for good fun, but they can also distract us from more important things. So, we first must make sure that we have our priorities straight. In Ephesians 5:15-21, the Apostle Paul warns that the days are evil and that we need to make the best use of our time. Interestingly, one of the ways we can "make the best use of our time" is by singing joyfully to God, a repeated emphasis in Scripture (1Ch 16:23; Pss 30:4; 8:11; 96:1). It is clear that God does not call us to go through life somber and miserable; however, we need to keep our thoughts on God and not just zone out with a video game or an iPod.
Next, we need to make sure that our entertainment choices are good ones. One question we should ask ourselves is, "Does this entertainment glorify God? (cp. 1Co 10:31). If it doesn’t, we should rethink our choice! Now, even good things can be used in a bad way, so we also need to make sure that good entertainment does not lead to bad consequences (1Co 10:23). For example, even if we think we are doing something of which God approves, someone else may disagree. In these cases we should choose something else out of consideration of the other person, for influencing a fellow believer to violate their conscience is sinful (Ro 14).
Another reason we should be discerning when choosing entertainment is that we are affected by the things, people and ideas with which we surround ourselves (Ps 1:1; Pr 6:27; 1Co 15:33). King Solomon learned this the hard way, for Scripture records that he married many foreign women and "when Solomon was old, his wives seduced him to follow other gods. He was not completely devoted to Yahweh his God" (1Kg 11:4). Companies understand the power of influence of others. That is why they pay millions of dollars to get their products before our eyes in television and movies (or CD, website, game, etc.) can do! This means we must get wise to how entertainment influences us so we can discern the good from the bad (Mt 10:16). Any entertainment that moves us in a bad direction is entertainment that God would have us reject. God cares about our entertainment choices, because He cares about us!
This article can be found in "Apologetics Study Bible for Students", page 357.
Please also see our comprehensive study for the book of 1 Kings that includes commentary from www.enduringword.com.