The Telegraph posted an article on Monday, August 15th called; "Every hour of TV watching shortens life by 22 minutes." This article cites some remarkable finding such as; “TV viewing time may have adverse health consequences that rival those of lack of physical activity, obesity and smoking; every single hour of TV viewed may shorten life by as much as 22 minutes.”
The researchers say that watching TV is among the most common forms of sedentary behaviour, along with sitting in cars. “Because TV viewing is a ubiquitous behaviour that occupies significant portions of adults’ leisure time, its effects are significant for overall population health.”
Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Sedentary behaviour such as vegging in front of the TV is practically a cultural institution these days and it’s good to relax for a while, but this study supports the view that too much of it can be bad for our health.
“Many of us make a conscious decision not to smoke because we know it’s bad for us, and this study suggests that more of us should make the same kind of pledge about lounging around and watching lots of TV.
“Introducing more activity to our daily lives, whether it’s walking to the shops instead of taking the bus, using the stairs instead of the lift or taking up active hobbies like sport or gardening mean we won’t spend as much time in front of the TV where we’re likely to pile on the pounds."
Will such an article impact or change TV viewing habits? For those conscious about life and health I would say; "likely." Others will shrug it off and I don't see anyone discarding their beloved HD flat screen's.
How can people seemingly ignore such life altering information. Most people have become quiet adept at ignoring such rhetoric. Society has been inundate with a plethora of information concerning smoking and obesity and yet little if any change has transpired. As a matter of record obesity is now considered a epidemic disease according to a September 10, 2006 article entitled; "Obesity Epidemic Engulfing the Entire World".
So what does such an article have to do with a blog that is Bible based? I believe this article reveals a spiritual issue of not epidemic proportions but pandemic. One hour of TV may take 22 minutes of one's life but my question is; "what is it doing to that person spiritually?"
Christian researchers tell us that people read Scripture very little if at all. Gallup in an October 20, 2000 article entitled; "Six in Ten Americans Read their Bible Occasionally", states the following; "In terms of frequency of readership, 16% of Americans say that they read the Bible every day, 21% say they read it weekly, 12% say they read the Bible monthly, 10% say less than monthly and 41% say that they rarely or never read the Bible."
Southern Baptist conducted a study of 17,000 attendees during a conference on spiritual renewal an uncovered this staggering information. Attendees classified themselves as either lay or pastoral when answering questions concerning prayer. When asked how much time they spent a day in prayer 15,000 lay attendees answered less than 5 minutes while those remaining 2,000 pastoral attendees answered less than 7 minutes.
So what do these statics tell us? Scripture and prayer, means by which we communicate to our Lord and He to us, is virtually non-existent when compared to our TV time.
Could it be that TV is killing us spiritually as well as physically? If TV makes us sedentary, and it does, does it not seem to reason that it would make us; true born again believers, stale, tasteless, and ineffective spiritually. Could TV and love for it prove that we would rather live according to the flesh rather than to put its deeds to death (Romans 8:12, 13)? If this is so then we have a much greater issue; "those who live according to the flesh must die" (Romans 8:13). This death is one that leads to eternal hell!
Do follower's of Christ possess rights to watch TV? Liberty in Christ affords them this right. However, let us not confuse or liberty with licences (Romans 6 & 7). It is inconceivable for Christians to think in a manner that "sin may abound so that grace may much more abound" (Romans 6:1, 2). Furthermore, let us not become trapped by legalism. May it be with Scripture as our guide that we seek to live in liberty that brings glory and honor to our Heavenly Father.
TVs are morally neutral. They only play channels that viewers chose. They operate only when operated. They are not evil any more than car are evil. However, anything can become immoral, evil, and sinful when it becomes that which beloved and worshipped more than Christ!
So we need to be killing our TV or our TV will be killing us.