Secret Diary of a TV Addict


I love TV.  There’s no point trying to deny it.  When I was a kid I watched plenty of TV.  When I was a teenager I watched plenty.  Now that I’m an adult I watch plenty as well.  I like to think that I don’t, because there are not many shows that I make sure to catch every week.  But of course I do watch the news pretty frequently.  And I watch sport – lots of football of various descriptions.  There is even a soccer match on tonight (Tuesday the 11th) and this morning I have already been thinking about what I am going to have to do to be able to watch it.  And I watch the odd movie on DVD.  And those times that I just switch it on to see if there is anything good on because I have some time to watch it.  So when you add all of that up…I watch plenty of TV.

The average Australian adult watches perhaps three hours a day.  That’s a tricky thing to measure because it changes from year to year, and if you are doing a task but the TV is on in the background, does that count or not?  I found various figures suggesting how much TV people watch, and three hours a day came out about average.

The average child aged 5 and up watches perhaps a bit less, but not by much.  Our daughter, thanks to the super high quality parenting she receives watches none, ok, she watches an hour a day, ok two hours, hmmmm, alright, I confess she’s average.  She watches heaps.  In fact if the impressive DVD collection that is next to the computer that I am writing this on is any indication, if she’s not average then she’s above average in how much she watches.  And she loves it!

Before I met Catherine I was a bit of a snob when it came to reality TV.  I was too busy watching documentaries to go near all that rubbish.  However my sweet wife has changed me in that regard.  Reality TV is good stuff!  We have watched so much Survivor, The Amazing Race and various other ones together.  As for The Bachelor, I just want it on record that it was a COMPLETE COINCIDENCE that I was in the room for every single minute of seasons 1, 2 and 3.

Of course the problem is that you can spend your whole life watching TV.  We only have so much time on this planet and I intend to make as big as splash for the gospel as I can.  The bottom line is that I cannot reach my potential for Christ and watch over 3 hours of TV a day.  I will watch some – there’s nothing to be gained by a legalistic approach that says you can’t look at any.

It’s about balance.  There’s nothing new about needing balance in life.  Neither is there anything new about Christians who find entertainment options more interesting than serving God.  Back in 400 A.D. St John Chrysostom preached about the fact that too many Christians were spending time at the chariot races!

The reason that I know that I often get the balance wrong is because when I don’t watch TV I am simply so productive.  I get stuff done.  I read.  I call people.  I go out.  I meet with people.  I learn.  It’s great.  It feels so much better.  I could have that feeling every night if I wanted it.  So why don’t I?  Because it is so easy to switch the TV on!  The remote is right there, the couch is right there – what could be more enticing, especially at the end of the day?

Of course it’s a matter of rising above the temptation to crash on the couch and stay there once “the Eagle has landed”.

If you agree that you could indeed be more of the person that God wants you to be with the TV off, then don’t go cold turkey and make radical changes like some sort of fad dieter.  Just make gradual, sustainable decisions to watch less, and be with people more.  After all, who ever died wishing that they watched more TV?


2 Comments to “Secret Diary of a TV Addict”

  1. I had a seminary Professor, condemned by the elitist students as “liberal”, but his spirituality was so deep he didn’t have TV because it connected him too much to world rather than Christ. Since we have been without TV reception for 3 years now we don’t miss it. We do have our movies and shows taped, but the advantage is we can control content to what we find suitable. I guess we watch a movie once or twice a month, and shows a little more often. Gardening, work, babysitting, time with my wife…
    While this is true, I am cautious about saying too much, because I cannot use the latest hockey play, the newest episode of … as a bridge to connect with people who are addicted to certain shows. God turns anything for good to those who love Christ and live the call of the Spirit.
    As Luther said, “Love God and sin boldly”.

  2. John, appreciate the message and the honesty 🙂 I know it is wrong and I am trying not to judge, but really The Bachelor!!!!!!! lol

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