Be Careful Little Eyes What You See
Philippians 4:8-9
Make media choices that will bring peace to your mind.
Published August 2nd, 2021
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Philippians 4:8-9
Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
What you have learned
and w received
and heard
and seen x in me—
practice these things,
and y the God of peace will be with you.
In children's Sunday school when I was very young, we used to sing a song that went like this, "O be careful little eyes what you see, O be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love. O be careful little eyes what you see." It is a simple song, but the wisdom it contains is quite valuable. A while back I was scrolling through Twitter. Although I no longer have any social media, I used to use it mainly as a link to articles and news to keep up with my favorite sports teams, follow what is going on in the broader evangelical world, and to stay informed on cultural and political matters. But, interestingly enough, I got rid of it so my little eyes could be careful as to what they saw. Anyway, I observed as I was scrolling that there were several tweets that linked to articles regarding what Christians should watch on TV or in movies. I also observed that these articles seem to come out around the time a new season of the HBO series Game of Thrones was set to debut. One tweet that linked to an article (actually, it is a transcript of a segment of a podcast) by Andrew Klavan at the Daily Wire caught my attention. In this particular article, the host is responding to a question he received from a listener regarding whether or not a Christian should watch Game of Thrones because of its explicit sexual content. The questioner cites Philippians 4:8 and asks how Mr. Klavan, who advocates that Christians should watch shows like Game of Thrones, reconciles this verse with his position. Mr. Klavan’s answer is interesting. Basically, he believes Christians should engage with “art” such as Game of Thrones because “you can only find God in the world as it is.” In Mr. Klavan’s view of Philippians 4:8, truth is the main attribute through which all other attributes listed in the verse are to be understood. In other words, honor, justice, purity, loveliness, and commendability are achieved by telling the truth about the reality of sin in all its graphic detail. If art does not contain graphic portrayals of sin, it is dishonest. Therefore, he and others have a responsibility as artists to display sin graphically in order to be honorable, just, etc. But is that how this verse is to be understood? Paul does indeed want us to think about what is true—unconcealed, factual, worthy of credit. However, the rest of the attributes in that verse are attributes in their own right that refine the things around which we are to form our thought patterns. And those thought patterns are to be further refined by things that are excellent and praiseworthy. There is a certain morality attached to the things we are to think about and dwell upon. Guarding patterns of thought brings the peace of God (Phil 4:9). But it’s not as if we bury our heads in the sand and attempt to never acknowledge sin; we have to because our world is full of it and we often have to stand against it. Of course, darkness contrasts the light, and we are able to see the beauty of God more clearly when it is contrasted by the ugliness of sin. The Bible does not try to hide sin; rather, it exposes it for the horror that it is. This is the part of getting at the truth that Mr. Klavan is missing. Game of Thrones does not display sin in its true form, it glorifies it— that is dishonest. It is one thing to expose sin and its ugliness, but it is another to purposefully engage with sin, whether actual or portrayals, in order to be entertained by it. This is where I fear we as Christians can be tempted to rationalize in order to justify the things we watch, listen to, or read. Should we watch things like Game of Thrones in order to see the beauty of God more clearly? Is it even possible without having it negatively impact our patterns of thought? Or is there something else at work within our hearts that causes us to desire to watch? In a moment of honesty, Mr. Klavan, I think, gives away his real motive for watching Game of Thrones. He states, “In the opening episode of this new season, there was a nude scene in it that had absolutely no point and purpose, it was just to put naked ladies on screen. I enjoyed it very much, but it was absolutely nothing to do with advancing the story” (italics mine). The show satisfies a fleshly desire, that’s why we are tempted to watch. Be careful little eyes what you see. Do our entertainment choices move us toward holiness or cause us to dwell on unrighteousness? Have we allowed ourselves to become desensitized to sin and not see it for the horror it is? May God give us the ability to be wise in all our media choices. You Can read Mr. Klavan’s article here: For the record, I have never seen Game of Thrones . All info about the show has come from reading about it. For another helpful article about this topic see:
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.