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God’s Own Words on Discernment

One of the best Scriptures for direction on media discernment is Colossians 2:8—"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ." Every movie, TV show, video game, website and song contains someone’s philosophy. Of course, not all entertainment is "hollow and deceptive," but much of it is. And unlike being taken prisoner during war time, the captivity process of the mind occurs slowly—a gradual desensitization.

As you talk about these issues as a family, examine Colossians 2:8, then work your way through the passages that follow. Be creative. You may want to walk through them systematically as part of your family devotional time. You could share a verse each night at the dinner table. Taking a stand against immoral entertainment is something God’s Word has more than a little to say about:

The War Within Us
John 3:1-21 • Jesus talks about flesh and spirit
Ephesians 2:1-5 • The sinful nature brings death
Ephesians 4:17-24 • Out with the old, in with the new
Romans 7:14-25 • Paul admits his own struggles
Romans 8:1-17 • Jesus: Cure for the sinful nature
Galatians 5:16-25 • Keys to living by the Spirit

Avoiding Indecent Exposure
Exodus 20:1-21 • God’s original Top-10 list
Psalm 1 • Be careful whose counsel you accept
Psalm 11:4-7 • The dangers of loving violence
Psalm 101 • David’s pledge of purity
Romans 12:9 • Hate what is evil
Ephesians 5:11 • Have nothing to do with darkness
Philippians 4:4-8 • Your heart’s best defense
1 Thessalonians 5:21 • Test everything
Colossians 2:8 • Watch out for deceivers!
Colossians 3:1-10 • Trading junk for jewels
1 Timothy 4:7-16 • A call to young Christians
2 Timothy 4:3-4 • Don’t waffle on the truth

Preparing a Defense
Ephesians 6:10-18 • The full armor of God
Matthew 6:19-24 • Protecting the eyes
1 Peter 1:13-16 • Follow the Commander
2 Peter 1:3-11 • Weapons of spiritual battle
Psalm 119:9-16 • Armed with God’s resources
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 • Training to win
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 • Taking thoughts prisoner
Romans 12:1-2 • Don’t be conformed; be transformed
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 • Control your passions

The Value of Wisdom
1 Kings 3:7-12 • Solomon asks for discernment
Proverbs 3:21-26 • Benefits of discernment
Genesis 41:15-40 • Joseph interprets dreams
Ecclesiastes 9:13-18 • A tale of wisdom as strength
Matthew 5:10-16 • Salt and light to the world
John 10:1-18 • Knowing the Shepherd’s voice
Philippians 1:9-11 • The apostles’ prayer for you

Adapted from the book Chart Watch by Bob Smithouser and Bob Waliszewski, copyright 1998.