Why I Gave Up TV

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Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Okay, to be honest I didn’t give up TV totally; but we did give up TV Cable and we are not (currently) using an antenna.  And, I don’t regret the decision one bit.  In fact, looking back it wasn’t very hard to do and the time was great – maybe I should have cut the cable years ago; but let me explain why I did it and what benefits I believe it has given our family.

The WHY!

We decided to give up cable TV first and foremost to save money; our average cable bill was well over $50 a month and on a tight income we had to look for ways to make budget – TV was one the areas we needed to reconfigure.  Now, leading up to the day we cancelled our cable I spent some time preparing our family.  A month out we signed up for the NETFLIX (about $8 per/month) download service.  We also prepared the family by reminding them that our TV habits will be changing – the shows we were currently watching would no longer be available.  

Besides the financial aspect to the switch was the time management and media influence part.  Both Jen & I felt the kids were watching too much TV and Jen probably even thought I was watching too much ESPN and other stuff (what can I say, I’m a movie guy).  Then there was the influence part; what were our kids learning from their tv consumption and what were we learning from it?  Now, please hear my heart on this part – In no way was the decision a legalistic one or a decision based in self-righteousness.  Nevertheless, I have to be honest that I am not disappointed about cutting cable.

So, why did we cut TV out?  Finances; we needed to make budget each month.  Time; we are becoming better managers of our time without the distraction of TV.  And finally, Influence; TV influences us and it’s not always for our best interest.  What’s more, not having cable doesn’t mean I am not being influenced by TV anymore… Just this week I was looking over several shows available through my NETFLIX account.  I started to watch a very popular show and I admit that for me it was very entertaining.  However, after watching 1.5 episodes I decided that it too would become an influence (negative) in my life.  And that is why I appreciate the verse I quoted at the top of this article:

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think…”

How do we change the way we think?

The Benefits of Dropping TV

Dropping TV was a good place to start when it come to renewing our mind, or getting our mind on track with God’s agenda.  Now, it’s not the only thing to do – simply dropping TV does not make me smarter, wiser or have more understanding in any way.  But, dropping TV freed up time and it was a first step in many to follow that lead to a healthier mental state (renew my mind).  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Dropping tv and choosing to go outside and hike or play games with the family.  Yes, I could watch tv with the family and we still do that from time-to-time; however, we spend more time outside now because we don’t spend an hour trying to “find” something on tv to watch.
  • Dropping tv ended the time wasting habit of “finding something on tv to watch”.  Have you ever done that?  I have, there are times when I’m bored and I turn on the tv to find something to watch only to find out I wasted an hour channel-surfing and finding nothing.  Now, without the cable package I might look at the line-up on NETFLIX or more times than not I’ll go do something more productive.
  • Dropping tv freed up time for reading, and other stuff.  Similar to the other items already listed, I find myself getting to bed earlier, reading more, spending more time in meaningful activities.

Again, I want to make it clear – I/WE are not any more spiritual than anybody else because we dropped tv.  Dropping TV did not make us as a family more spiritual.  However, dropping tv opened our eyes to how much time we wasted in front of it instead of leveraging our time building relationships.  

I hope this post was thought provoking and beneficial to you.  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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