I’ve been wanting to write this for some time now but I needed some time to collect my thoughts and properly express what was in my heart. This past year has been a year of transition and growth for me. Not just physically but most importantly spiritually. It hasn’t been easy. I’m still growing and still learning. A year or so ago I was tired of being in the same place spiritually and I wanted to grow. I had to take an honest look at my life and myself and do some spiritual inventory. God broke me down and showed me that there were parts of my life that I wasn’t fully submitting to Him. I was still trying to hold onto so many things of the world. I knew in order to grow within my relationship with Him there were certain things that I had to give up. I couldn’t serve two masters. I was either going to be 100% with God or 100% with the world. I knew with God was where I wanted to be. So that’s when I began my spiritual inventory. I started to look at things in my life that were serving as stumbling blocks, temptation growth plates, and spiritual hindrances. One of those things was television and certain shows that I was choosing to indulge in. Don’t get me wrong, television in itself is not necessarily wrong. However what we choose to watch and what we allow our eyes to see and our hearts to become open to, can be sin or lead to sin. As I began to study God’s word more, He started to convict my heart and point out shows that I was watching that were not pleasing to Him and that I needed to give up. One show in particular was Scandal. I know some of you reading this may feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with Scandal. But before you jump to any conclusions or become defensive, hear me out. I’m not judging anyone, I’m simply trying to open your eyes to some of the things that God opened my eyes to. All I ask of you is that you’re patient with me and read with an open heart. Below I’m going to tell you the reasons I stopped watching Scandal.
1 IT WAS BECOMING AN IDOL
When I say I was one of the biggest Scandal fans there was, I’m dead serious. I was a faithful, loyal, and fully committed fan. From the very first season… I watched it faithfully EVERY Thursday. And the days I wasn’t able to watch it, I would make sure I recorded it or would watch the episode online the next day. I knew all the characters, their names, their likes and dislikes. I literally was obsessed with it. I even went to the point of glorifying the show and encouraging others to watch it. I would rave on about how amazing the story line was and how amazing Shonda Rhimes was with her writing. I would even plan my day around being able to have my hour cleared so I could watch it. It no longer just became a show that I occasionally liked to watch it became a show that I began to glorify and worship. I didn’t let anything or anyone come in between me and my show. I know it sounds a bit crazy even somewhat comical but I’m dead serious. It got so bad that I would literally get upset if I missed the show. However, when I started reading God’s word more, He started to reveal to me how this obsession for this show was actually sinful in itself. I was putting this show before the true God. I knew this wasn’t pleasing to the Lord and for that reason I knew I had to give it up. Scandal was not going to save my soul but Scandal could most definitely help me lose it.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” –Exodus 20:3
2 IT PROMOTED EVERYTHING OPPOSITE THAT AS A CHRISTIAN I REPRESENTED
When you think of a word to describe the show Scandal the first word you think of is not “godly” or “christianly.” In fact it’s the exact opposite. You think of words like scandalous, deceitful, and sensual. Nothing about the show promoted things of God. As much as I hated to admit that fact, I knew it was true. In fact Scandal glorified things that were sinful. It painted them to be beautiful, appealing, exhilarating. It was a show that appealed to my fleshly, passionate, and human desires. That’s why I loved it so much. It excited and teased my flesh. It took me on a mental roller coaster and at the end of each episode it had me wanting more. And that’s the sad part. The things that exhilarated me were not godly. How could I claim to be a lover of Jesus and watch things that promoted the very things that He hated? How can murder, lying, adultery, homosexuality, deceit, and drunkenness be something appealing to me when the God I serve hated those very things? I allowed the devil to deceive me in thinking that the whole concept of a president and his mistress being together was something beautiful. That they were supposed to be together and that their relationship was so adorable. Like what? How crazy is that? There is nothing beautiful to God about an adulterous relationship. In fact the bible lets us know that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 6:9-10). So how hypocritical was it for me to watch and promote something that sought to glorify the very things that God despised. I knew every time I would watch an episode it would poison my mind and infiltrate my heart with sinful things. As I began to study more, the Lord convicted my heart even more. An unsettling in my spirit began to develop when I tried to watch the episodes. I couldn’t watch it happily anymore because I knew in my heart it wasn’t pleasing to God. I knew if Jesus was in the flesh He wouldn’t be sitting on the couch watching it with me. If I knew that fact then there was no reason I should keep watching it. If I wanted to get closer to God, I had to stop watching a show that would poison my heart, eyes, and thoughts with things that would bring me further away from Him.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:1-2
3 IT WAS POISONING MY MIND AND TEMPTING ME
Can I be real for a moment? Scandal has A LOT OF SEX SCENES. A LOT. And those of you who watch it know what I’m saying is the truth. In fact almost every episode included sex or eluded to sex. As a child of God watching scenes like that was pretty much asking the devil to have a field day in my mind. I had to realize that if I sit and allow myself to watch something that I know is not of God, I am basically letting God and myself know that I’m approving of what I watch. I knew as a Christian that it wasn’t pleasing to God. After the episodes were all said and done, those images, those scenes, those words, everything that happened within that show replayed in my mind. And then I was wondering why I couldn’t get rid of my lustful thoughts? I was wondering why I was becoming tempted so easily? Well duh! What else would I think would happen? I was infiltrating my heart, my mind, and my eyes with things not of the Lord. I had no ammunition to fight temptation or ungodly thinking because the only thing that was inside of my mind was ungodly and sinful trash. I knew I had to stop watching the show. As much as part of me wanted to continue, I knew if I wanted to save my soul and live a life pleasing to God, I had to give it up.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”-Proverbs 4:23
SO HERE’S WHAT I DID…
I went on a television and social media hiatus for 30days. I literally wanted …no I needed to purge myself of everything that was not of God. So much of my struggles and problems were arising from the things that I saw and infiltrated my mind with via television and social media. I spent those 30 days reading and studying God’s word, talking to God in prayer, making my days productive vs non-productive. I worked out, I read books that encouraged me spiritually and challenged me to be spiritually better. Every day I strove to do things that were pleasing to God and would help me grow closer to Him. I will admit some days were really hard. Some days I was tempted to give in and give up. Some days I was tempted by people even family (whether intentionally or unintentionally) to give up the commitment I had made to God. But I kept pushing through and leaned upon the Lord for my strength and for my help. Now I can look back and say I’m beyond grateful for that experience. It was truly life changing. When I emptied myself of everything that was not of God and poured God back into me it was amazing what joy and peace I found. Now today, thankfully God has rewired my spiritual taste buds. Would you believe me if I said I really don’t watch TV much anymore? Not because I think all TV is bad…but because my desire towards TV in general has changed. It all started with one show Scandal…now God has replaced a desire that was not of Him and made it so that I desire Him more than any TV show. That’s why today I take heed and try to stay spiritually alert about the things I choose to watch and put inside my heart. Even to the point of being mindful about the movies I choose to go see. I know a lot of shows and movies have come out since last year, but instead of starting a bad habit and opening a door for spiritual temptation I have chosen not to even begin watching some things. For example, the new hit TV Empire. I’m choosing not to watch it because I know nothing spiritually fruitful will come from me indulging in a show like that.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect. I struggle everyday with sin. But I truly want to make heaven my home. If I can control certain sins in my life or prevent certain sins from developing, then I want to do that. I’m not writing this to tell you what you need to do because at the end of the day everyone will have to give an account for their own actions and for their own soul. I’m not going to go through and list every show that I feel you shouldn’t watch. That’s not up to me to decide. It’s up to God’s word to decide. I just pray that you will follow the call of God and His desire for you to live a holy and righteous life for Him.
I’ll leave you with this… “Your heart is the spiritual battle ground. What you open your heart to, what you expose your eyes to, and what you infiltrate your mind with will determine who will win the war for your heart. But remember only the pure in heart will see God.”
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” –Matt 22:37-38
Hi Ashley!!! I would like to thank you for those three reasons. I too felt the same way with How to Get Away with Murder. Now I realize that some of these shows are not good for us, especially for the black community. Thank you for your comments.
Ashley, I have never watched the show or any of them that flood my newsfeed on certain nights of the week. I appreciate you being honest and the self examination. We all need to do that from time to time so that we can be pleasing in his sight. Recently, I heard this question asked in a sermon and it has stuck in my mind. “Can God trust me when I’m alone?” Meaning when I’m not around other christians and thinking that “noone sees me”. When in fact, I’m only deceiveing myself. Thanks again for your wonderful thoughts.
you make very valid points and I thank you for sharing them with us. It definitely gives you something to think about.
Outstanding!!! I am encouraged to do better praying for increase in zeal and dedication and will take necessary steps…. By the way I think you meant despise not demise :)…
Beautiful, Ashley. I love the way you put things in perspective and decided to purge yourself of what was ungodly and unhealthy spiritually for you! You’re a true testament to Psalm 119:11. What an encouragement and inspiration you are. Blessings.
Thanks for this article. You voiced what I’ve been internally battling with for quite a while in terms of whether or not I really need to be mindful about TV, movies and other forms of media. I’m going to use your example and go on a 30 day media fast in order to get myself together. Thank you for your article.
Great article. Keep going girl! Beautiful woman of destiny!
Thank you so much! To God be the glory. God bless!
That was truly amazing and on point. I’ve felt that way before several times while watching Scandal and now Empire. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. I’m actually as of today more or less coming off a 30 day Facebook fast and I’m pleased your blog was one of the first post I see. I was so much more focused staying off of Facebook. I’ve spent time talking with actual friends vs posting and liking post of acquaintances. We must stay ever mindful of social media and what we let our ears hear and our eyes see.
Amen my sister Amen. So glad God used me to encourage you. Please continue to stay strong in the Lord. You can do it. God is faithful. Continue to be bless and thank you for your kind words.
Glory! Glory to HIS name. He is worthy to be Praise! Thanks Ashley! Continue to be a light in this dark world. When I watched Scandal for the first time…I was rebuked by the Holy Spirit within me. As I continued to watch it, I too had to make a decision (God or Satan) I want to spend eternity with my Lord forever. I too stop watching.
To God be the glory! Thank you for your encouragement and example! Love ya!
I have never been so proud of you as I am this very moment. I know first hand that your life reflects all the things you so passionately write about. God is faithful. To young parents who are rearing their children in the Lord, be encouraged. It is interesting that you wrote this at this time. If it be the Lord’s will, I am teaching a lesson this Lord’s day to women on maintaining a pure heart. One quote that I am using in this lesson is, ” I will not let anyone walk through my mind with dirty feet.” The incomprehensible working of the Spirit of God.
Your sister in Christ, your mom, & your friend,
To God be the glory. Thank you mommy for your example. I love you!
Thank God for the courage of this wise young Lady. I like you am so far from perfect even in my old age that I Know how weak I am & must flee. God bless you for your humble candor & Super courage!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’m so glad God was able to use me to encourage you. To God be the glory! Thank you for your kind words. God bless!
This is so on time – I was struggling with watching Empire this Wednesday and although, I did watch it I was not comfortable. Thanks I found a new re-committed to reading Christian fiction.
So glad I was able to encourage you my friend. Continue to stay strong in the Lord and stay communicated. You can do it! Stay encouraged my friend!
I am humbled by your article for I know the greatest battle we will fight takes place in the space between our ears. I thank God for your courage and wisdom. love Dad
Thanks Daddy! Love you!
This truly was a blessing to read. Thank you for being obedient to voice of God and writing this post. God bless you!!!
Glory to God. Thank you for taking the time to read it. So glad God was able to use me to encourage you! God bless!
This was super needed and real. I wrote a book called from boys to gentlemen. I would love to discuss my book with you. Contact me please. Have a blessed day.
So glad I could encourage you. I would love to read your book. Where can I find it?
I really needed to hear this. This is such a humbling article and I just want to say thank you for sharing.
And where you were describing how obsessed with it you were and how you “idolized” it, the thing is so many people are like that, including myself, many people just can’t be real enough with themselves to step back and reflect on what that garbage is doing to them…
I’m so glad I was able to encourage you Sara! Please stay encouraged and keep being strong in the Lord. You can do it!
now is the time to do self examination ……the truth is that I watch too much of films , reading this message of urs is like u saw Hw my life looks like and u put it into writing …
now is the time to stand up for the truth , to say NO to films ( especially fighting, horror , films that won’t edify me nor the spirit of God )
God help me in Jesus name …amen
tank u sister , God help us all