Maintaining our Love for Jesus

Last week I was at a pastor’s conference, and I heard something that deeply challenged me. One of the pastors shared his belief that: “If you are spending more of your free time consuming Hollywood and Reddit and Youtube and Tiktok than consuming the Word of God, you should expect to be an unhealthy follower of Jesus”.

He went on to explain that usually, a person’s worldview is largely shaped by the people they spend time with, whether in person or on a screen. Today, we often spend significant amounts of time “with” Hollywood or with various segments of the internet.  This is also true for TV, and for news shows. I have known people in my life that every day consume political news shows, and every day their thoughts are totally consumed by, and shaped by, the newscasters which they watch on Youtube. We would have to be naive to think that the priorities and worldviews of the media we consume will not influence and affect us.

It is not wrong to enjoy watching movies or TV shows. It is also not wrong to watch the news, or to frequent various forums or apps which are entertaining. We were created by God with the capacity for creativity, as well as the capacity to enjoy the creations of others. We glorify him when we enjoy his good world that he has designed for us to live in.

However, it is so important that we do not become sidetracked. Ultimately, all these good gifts are supposed to cause us to find joy in the Giver of good gifts. We miss the point if we focus so much on the gifts that we forget about their giver. We don’t only miss the point though – we also miss out on the infinite joy and pleasure that God desires for us. Nothing created is designed to permanently satisfy our desire for joy, and nothing created is capable of doing that. Only God, the Giver of good gifts, is capable of satisfying our deepest longings.

If we spend the vast majority of our time with people (in person or through a screen) whose underlying worldview tries to find its ultimate joy in earthly things, it is easy for us to forget where our ultimate satisfaction as Christians comes from. If we spend 5 minutes a day with God, and 3 hours a day with Hollywood and Youtube, we need to expect that we will become forgetful of how good God is. We need to expect that it will become harder for us to remember his goodness, his character, his promises, his faithfulness, and his love for us.

If Jesus is precious to us, we need to be intentional about preserving our love for him. If the truth of the Bible, which explains where we can find true joy, true peace, and true satisfaction, is precious to us, we need to be intentional about preserving and growing that truth in our lives.

I’d like to invite you to join me this coming week in examining your life. If you feel far from God, if you feel like the truths of the Bible are “dim” to you, I encourage you to be intentional about where you spend your time. You might find that your worldview is not being shaped by God, or by the Bible, but rather by people who do not even believe that God exists.

With you on the journey,