5 Reasons Christian Leaders Should Cancel Cable TV
Two months ago I did something crazy. Today, I’m already richer and a better leader because of it.
I canceled cable television.
You can probably imagine the chaos that ensued. My health took a significant turn for the worst. Life felt like a perpetual downward spiral towards uncertainty. Reality became more and more out of touch as each day passed. Then, the sleep deprivation took over. My eyes became permanently bloodshot and anxious cold sweats became a staple of my existence. It was awful.
Well, at least that’s what I thought would happen. I feared for the worst when I canceled cable television. My family complained for a while and I was anxious about the decision. But the truth is it wasn’t so bad. And I knew God was being very purposeful in challenging me to do this. Months later, His purpose has become clear and my life truly is richer because of it. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my God, and my purpose in life by removing one of the most gripping distractions in my life. The following is a list of the top reasons why I canceled cable television, and why I think you should too.
#5 – No More Paying for Jersey Shore
Consider this: Even though it conflicts with my morals and I never watch it, I was paying for Jersey Shore with my cable subscription. Each month I paid that bill, I was sending a message to the cable company that I was satisfied with the programming they were offering. I was paying for shows I love and shows I hate just the same. Now, I buy everything a la carte – which means I can reward good content with my purchases and avoid paying for all the other junk. Somehow, I find justice in that.
#4 – Stimulate Wholesome Thinking
There is a lot of sex, violence, and temptation on TV. Luke 11:34 says, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.” Similarly, 2 Peter 3:1 challenges us to maintain wholesome thinking. It should come as no surprise, then, that aversion to the impure things on television has made me stronger against temptation. I’m thinking with a much purer, positive, and encouraging mind – a state of mind God loves and rewards (Matthew 5:8).
#3 – More Time to Focus on God
Before I decided to cancel cable television, I spent a lot of time just wasting away in front of the TV. Whenever I had down time I would just zone out on the couch, mindlessly flipping through channels and pretending I was relaxing. Now that I’m without cable, I need to find other ways to entertain myself. My (rare) down time is now occupied by reading – especially reading the Bible. That alone has made me a better leader simply because I’m more connected to scripture. I’ve got more time for God to impress upon me who He is.
#2 – Increased Capacities to Give
Stripping out over $100 of cost from your monthly bills is a very liberating feeling. It literally made me feel richer to cancel cable television. But the real value in this decision is that it increases your ability to give, something God loves (2 Corinthians 9:7). I now have extra cash to give if God calls me to do so, and it would certainly be wise for me to obey – the ROI of giving in God’s economy is strong:
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” (Luke 6:38)
#1 – Go and Make Disciples of All Sports Bars
My biggest concern before finally deciding to cancel cable television was that I wouldn’t be able to watch live sports anymore. It was a serious concern and the main thing holding me back. So much so, that I asked God about it. His response: “If you want to watch the baseball game, head out to the local pub. You’ll meet a bunch of fun people there, including some who need to know more about me.”
It has been very rewarding and fruitful to have to watch the ballgame with friends and strangers. I’ve increased my reach and influence among my neighbors, which leads to an exponential increase in opportunities to build relationships and serve others. It was only after I decided to cancel cable that I realized how much I isolated myself from others by always hiding behind the television in my living room. One baseball or hockey game at a time, I’m positioning myself to go and make disciples of all nations.
- Has anyone else decided to cancel cable television? If so, how has it positively or negatively impacted your life?
- Is anyone thinking about canceling cable television, but still unsure about it?
Photo Credit: Banalities (via Flickr Creative Commons)