TV and Movie Influences

(Written especially for young people)

MOST people like television. I enjoy programs that deal mwith outer space. Probably you have some favorite programs too. But what happens if a program makes you feel bad or scared?

I've felt that way. And the thing that helps me the most is prayer. In the Bible, Christ Jesus tells us that we can turn to God as our loving Father, and we can expect Him to help us. When we're seeing something sad or scary, it may seem hard to quiet our thought enough to pray, but one verse from Psalms in the Bible says of God, ``He knoweth the secrets of the heart'' (44:21). So when I'm not quite sure how to pray, I think of God as my very best friend and trust that He knows what's in my heart.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, points out in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, that even though we may not be able to see God with our eyes, He hears our prayers. She says, ``The Father in secret is unseen to the physical senses, but He knows all things and rewards according to motives, not according to speech'' (p. 15). The part about motives is important. We can't keep watching what we know is really junk just because our friends do or because it will make us seem ``cool.'' We need to keep our thought filled with ideas that come from God.

Recommended: 'The River': Six scary TV shows that came before it

God is Love. He made you to be like Him, which means you are intelligent, good, and loving. As the likeness of God, Spirit, your true nature is actually spiritual! So it's natural for you to like spiritual qualities such as purity and goodness. Knowing this can help you resist the temptation to watch TV shows or movies that are scary or violent or without any moral standards. And you can avoid trouble by praying to God for guidance before watching a movie or TV program.

Still, sometimes even a good program may have a scary scene. Or maybe a film turns out to be something different from what you expected. When those ``bad scenes'' are hard to forget, its kind of like having a TV set tuned to an obnoxious channel that you can't change.

But you can always pull the plug of a TV set! That cuts off the power and turns off the set. And prayer helps us to do that with bad memories of a show or movie. When you pull the plug on the thoughts that are making you feel scared or troubled by refusing to let them have power over you--since God is the only real power--you can feel peaceful again. And as God's likeness, you always have the power to do what's right.

We all want to express beauty, joy, health, happiness. Well, to do that we have to fill our thoughts with these qualities that come from God and not watch horrible scenes that deny the goodness of man, God's child.

It isn't always easy to say ``no'' when your friends want to see a film that looks creepy. But just take a few seconds to turn to God in prayer. This will help you know what to do about watching the film. If you do see something scary, you can say ``no'' to fear. And you never know--your friends may just decide that they'd rather do something more worthwhile you'll all enjoy!

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