“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:6-7, NIV)
From my early childhood onward, my parents emphasized the importance of critical thinking. They prompted my sister and I to be mindful of what was being input into our brains through the media and entertainment.
One of our common exercises to practice filtering information was through family discussions following the movies we watched together. Initially, we’d enjoy conversations about what we liked and didn’t like about the movie—the basic review in acting, cinematography, how engaging the plot-line was, etc. As the discussion progressed, the content of our reviews delved deeper as well. Our parents asked us questions that probed us to contemplate on the themes and morals portrayed in the film. My sister and I learned to be active viewers, preparing to answer follow-up questions.
“Where did you see truth/deception?”
“What sort of thought processes could have led each character to his/her choices?”
“How was love demonstrated?”
“What do you relate to from the movie?”
“How does this movie change or build on how you view the world? Yourself? Others? God?”
From each discussion and the illustrations through the films, my sister and I took away life lessons, determining which virtues would guide us to more Christ-like living versus the worldly mindsets and behaviors.
Day by day, I find more of a need to exercise this filter vigorously—especially in the twisted world we live in. I am constantly taking in information—opinions, beliefs, characteristics, lifestyles; it is imperative that I’m intentional about what I allow into my mind. There are many movies that I’ve seen that aren’t Christ-centered, and yet I’ve taken away inspiring lessons from them. I believe the reason is because God can and will take any experience that we go through and use it to reveal more of Himself to us so we may gain more knowledge to reflect His light. But only if we seek it earnestly.
My discernment is only as good as the questions I ask of what information I intake. It’s a conscious effort to seek where pieces of wisdom lie in the premeditated dialogue, intricate plot lines, and tactful use of metaphors and symbolism in our entertainment. The only way I can ask quality questions to find clarity in a message is to first understand the source of clarity.
There is nothing clearer to me in this world than a loving God who is Omniscient. How wonderful it is that I have the opportunity to have a relationship with the One who knows all and loves me more than enough to teach me of His wisdom. Through His heavenly resources, I know I can find the intentional questions within myself to ask against the world. Through knowing Him, I can see where He is and where He isn’t. I accomplish my relationship with God through studying and exploring His Word, for that is my most reliable source to discover His character. Praise God I have other Godly resources as well–parents, mentors, spiritually-rooted friends, reliable Christian commentaries and devotionals on the Bible.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m watching movies, TV shows, and film shorts without the discussion prompts of my parents. I’m responsible to myself to break down what I’m learning through the content I’m viewing. I’m the one who must ask myself “Is this information something I want to integrate in my life or is it an example of something I want to make sure I steer clear of?”
God has impressed me to take quotes that I treasure and see if they’re in agreement with His Word. I believe He wants me to discover ways to apply my favorite quotes to my Christian walk. He’s challenging me to think thoroughly on what I feed my brain. To fervently seek and diligently protect wisdom. I’m anticipating to be blessed and amazed through these musings—and from experience, I ruminate best when I write my thoughts down. So here I am.
I hope and pray you find Light through the journey God takes me on with the words that run through my head.
Joy and wisdom unto you.
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,” (Ephesians 1:7-18, NRSV)