When I was a teenager, I watched dozens of movies each week. My brother and I used to walk through our local movie rental store going shelf by shelf saying, "Seen it, seen it, seen it . . . oh, here's one we actually haven't seen." When I was a sophomore in high school, my Fellowship of Christian Athlete's leader (an awesome woman), asked why I had more movie lines memorized than Bible passages. Needless to say, she brought a needed conviction upon me.
Ever since then and throughout the last 10 years, I have tried to be more intentional in what movies I watch and don't watch. No longer do I try to watch every movie that comes out, but I try to be make the most of my time. Time is a commodity that cannot be increased by any human invention so it's fitting that the Apostle Paul told us in Ephesians 5:16 to "redeem the time" or more clearly, "make the best use of your time."
Here are a few ways my wife and I have attempted to watch movies more wisely:
1. We try to watch movies from the Time Magazine 100 best movies of all time - http://www.time.com/time/2005/100movies/the_complete_list.html
2. Each year Christianity Today highlights the 10 most redeeming films. Most years we have already seen 5 of these before the list comes out. It is always interesting then to go back and watch the other movies listed in the next year. You can see their 2008 list here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/commentaries/tenredeemingfilmsof2008.html
3. If there is a movie not on either of these lists, we rarely (if ever) rent a movie unless it has been recommended by a friend's whose opinion we trust.
Many of us are drawn to movies. We love the excitement, adventure, suspense, and the romance. I believe our culture is addicted to movies because most of us are not experiencing these kinds of things in our everyday lives. The thing I had to wake up to, and I hope you do to, is that we will never begin to experience these things in our own lives if we are parked in front of a TV or movie screen.
Let us redeem the time and make the most of every opportunity in 2009.