Is watching movies a waste of time and money? Just a few years ago in 2012 Americans spent 10 billion dollars at the movies. Since then the number has likely increased. But, who doesn’t love a good story? It’s easy to think that all that money and time watching movies might be better spent. Yet, movies can be redeemed and not just Christian movies. The stories we take in at the theater can be used to help build up others and encourage you to engage the world with the Gospel.
What Should We Be Watching?
Not all films of course are worthy of our time and there are definitely many that as a Christian I can hardly recommend. But there are also many stories out that that lift our spirits and motivate us to move mountains. Jesus said if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could move a mountain. Haven’t you ever watched an underdog story where the little guy makes it in the end or goes on to accomplish something greater than what he set out to accomplish? The film Rudy (based on a true story) comes to mind.
After weeding out most if not all of the horror flicks along with some other obvious nonsense, you can probably find an encouraging if not revealing story that shines a light on human nature and our need for God in most films. Human nature inevitably comes through in the stories we tell. These stories can show not only how we all need God but how God built us with a need for community, friendship, love and laughter.
While you have to decide for yourself what is worthy of watching and what kinds of things you shouldn’t take in, there is a lot more to many movies than just the loss of two hours and twenty bucks after popcorn.
Finding Truth in the Messages of Movies
There are a lot of faith films that have come out this year and there are more to come I’m sure. Even if they don’t have million dollar budgets you may be surprised that some of them have great stories to tell. There are also a lot of bombs out there that you’ll regret having watched.
But when you consider what, if any movies to go see, ask yourself what kind of story will this movie tell, what will the characters be like? What is the real message of the movie? You may be surprised at what you find in some films if you look deeper. Afterwards think about what moved you and what you learned about yourself? What might you be inspired to do?
Movies as a Stepping Stool
When you watch a movie, look for and find the truth, embrace it and then share it. Our culture obviously loves movies, so use what you’ve learned by watching one as a stepping stool to engage your friends and family with the inherent truths that you find and share the Good news of the Gospel. Or just use the motivation to go out and change the world for good in the name of Jesus.