“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.” Philippians 4:8
So I love a movie just as much as the next girl. Recently I went to the theater to see DC’s Suicide Squad. And I thought it was pretty good. The songs in the movie were really catchy, the characters are engaging. The humor is spot-on. There are even some good themes about selflessness in a movie all about bad guys and anti-heroes.
But there are also a lot of undesirable things in the movie. Harley Quinn is certainly not a role-model female and her relationship with the Joker is destructive and harmful. The movie wants audiences to look on the bad guys as heroes by the end of it all. They even pull our heartstrings with characters like Deadshot and his daughter to try and make us think that an assassin isn’t all that bad.
So what’s the point? We should think about the things we watch and listen to in life. Culture constantly inundates us with music, movies, books, comics, video games, and more. And all of these things tell a message. What messages are we listening to? Are we taking in life-giving messages or harmful messages?
Philippians tells us that as Christians, we should focus on things that are good and worthy. It’s kind of like “camp appropriate.” We don’t just filter things at camp because they should be age appropriate, but because we should spend our time focusing on things that are good, honorable, praiseworthy, and edifying.
The reason for doing this is because when we focus on these things, we focus on things that share God’s qualities. We become more Christ-like when we focus on things that mirror Christ and his attributes and personality.
That’s not to say that we can’t enjoy movies or music or art or culture. In fact, these things in and of themselves aren’t bad. But I challenge you to think about the music you listen to, the movies you watch, the books you read, the games you play, etc. What do they point you to? The world or Christ? It’s not always easy to say no to popular culture, but maybe sometimes we need to if it drags our focus away from God.
If there is anything worthy of praise, think on those things.