Proverbs 22:24–25 says "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go: Lest you learn his ways, and get a snare to your soul." The obvious application to this verse is to choose our friends carefully, but what about the company we keep in our thoughts through the books we read, the music we listen to, and the things we watch?
Do we watch violent shows? Do we admire the characters when they punch someone out for saying something ignorant to them or think that it's funny? Do we cheer for an abused character in the story when they soundly thrash their abuser(s)? Do we think that the villains had it coming to them?
When a bad guy is killed, do we give no thought to him, particularly if he is just some extra playing the part of a henchman? In real life, such a person has parents and siblings who possibly loved them. It is even more tragic if their parents never loved them and taught them to be good. What if that was your son or daughter who had gone wrong? Would you want their life to be snuffed out, or would you want the Lord to have mercy on them and bring them to salvation?
Do we laugh at sarcastic remarks? How long will it be before we find ourselves speaking the same type of poison to get a laugh, or to imagine to ourselves that we're cool? Do we laugh at vulgar buffoonery? Do our thoughts make friends with evil types of humour?
Do we watch shows or read books where the characters are seductive? Do we admire the man who is able to entice scores of women into having sex with him? Such a man is not treating women, or even himself, with respect, nor setting a good example for his children or other men.
Are the women in the stories, in particular the main female character, hopping into bed with a man or men whom they are not married to? Oh, yes, we may think it is wrong of her to do that, but she has such an engaging personality and some worthy attributes of character, so we read on, to see if she gets married to the main guy in the story. In the process of reading those stories, Biblical standards become blurred in our mind. Perhaps not the point where we would engage in such behaviour ourself – in ordinary circumstances – but what if we ever become subjected to an intense degree of temptation?
And what of underlying messages in the stories? Is the theory of evolution promoted in some little remark about a fossil being millions of years old? Are there New Age messages? How long can a person's mind continue to be peppered with heresy before their love for God and regard for His truth begins to wax cold?
Promiscuity is a manifestation of anger. Violence is a manifestation of anger. Greed is a manifestation of anger. Most sin, if not all, is in some way connected to anger against God because He permitted something unpleasant to happen. It is a lack of trust in Him to work things out to have a redemptive purpose. If we let our minds become cluttered with thoughts of how others deal with their anger in ways that give them a thrill, we might become envious of those thrills and take on the evil behaviours that produce them.
And what do movies and books generally teach about trusting God? Even if they are Christian movies or books, when a character becomes ill, do we see the other characters moving in Holy Ghost power to pray for them and the person becoming well? When a character is poor, do they pray to God, resulting in miracles of provision? Not often, if ever. If it's not a true story, there is no impact made in regards to trusting God for miracles.
There are better stories in the Bible that tell of such miraculous things and true testimonies in modern times of God intervening supernaturally in people's lives. These are the things that we should introduce to our thoughts to make friends with. If you want to edify your soul, I recommend Sid Roth's show It's Supernatural, which is on the Internet, as well as on TV.
Hudson Taylor, a man whom God used to make great inroads for the Gospel in China, had it right when he banned his team members from reading novels. He would most certainly take the same view towards watching movies. These things may be useful for a time, but eventually we need to put away childish things; the sooner, the better.
This is always easier said than done, but Paul Hegstrom has some good teaching to help us grow more mature. There are a lot of his videos on YouTube where we can learn how emotional trauma before the age of 13 causes brain damage and arrested emotional development, making us prone to unhealthy behaviour and addictions. Paul has developed programs that help heal people from PTSD, addiction to pornography, pedophilia, and other serious disorders. His main message is that, when we read the Bible aloud, it causes the growth of new neural pathways that restore the brain.
Dr. Caroline Leaf is another invaluable source of information on how to heal the brain and develop healthy addictions. She is a neurologist who has helped heal people with brain damage caused by accidents, whom doctors said would never recover. She has patients who recovered so well that their IQ has increased from what it was before. One of her patients, who had poor grades before her accident, reached genius level after responding to Dr. Leaf's teachings. There is great hope for us all.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.