During finals week of my first semester of college I watched an entire season of NCIS and then some.
I know that might not be a lot compared to some of the extreme Netflix binge-watchers’ records out there, but for me it was a lot. And it was something I would jokingly brag about. I was proud of my crazy (for me) Netflix record during finals week.
But, really, though that might be a kind of silly example, it begs the question: Can too much of a good thing actually be a problem?
Oftentimes, we try to sort things into “good” and “bad,” but in truth, most things that we face day to day are neither inherently good (in the Christian sense of the word) nor are they inherently bad. Really, they’re pretty much neutral.
I’m talking about things like social media, TV shows, movies, and things of the sort.
All of them are probably things most of us enjoy, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, I know I have a tendency to take that enjoyment just a little too far.
I’ll spend all day long scrolling through social media, binge-watching Netflix, or even writing, and if I’m being completely honest, I sometimes let that get in the way of more important things. Things like spending time with family and having a daily quiet time with God.
The brutal truth-though I really hate to say it-is that these things can become idols in my life.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
It’s sad, really. Harmless, enjoyable ways of spending my time turned into something sinful, when all I have to do to keep that from happening is have a little self-control amd impose limits for myself.
Yes, it’s that easy. I just have to give myself some limits. Say, “I’ll watch this episode of NCIS, but I’m going to stop after that.” Or, “I’ll check Twitter now, but I won’t check it again in 20 minutes.”
Sometimes, even, I’ve found it’s refreshing for me to take a day to completely step away from these distractions. It sounds too difficult to handle, to do something like not check social media for an entire day, but I’ve found myself actually feeling free when I put my phone away and refuse to check it.
Here, the verse I quoted above really comes to life. I’m choosing to not become caught up in worrying about earthly things, but instead focusing more on God. As a result, God provides abundantly.
So next time we all check social media for the twentieth time in one day, or find ourselves on our fifth episode of our favorite show on Netflix for the day, let’s remind ourselves to take a step back and enjoy the other good things in life. After all, I’d hate for too much of a good thing to turn into something bad.
Question for you guys: If you find yourself spending too much time doing something in particular, how do you combat it?