Is watching TV a sin?

Here's the answer:

It depends on what you watch and if your parents say it’s okay.

TVs weren’t invented yet when the Bible was written, so the Bible doesn’t talk about whether or not watching TV is a sin. But it does give us advice we can follow:

• What do your parents say? If your mom and dad don’t want you to watch TV, then it’s sin to watch it. God wants us to be obedient to our parents.

• TV can be good. TV is simply a tool, a way of sharing information. It’s a good way to let people know bad weather is coming or a way to share the news of the day. It can also be entertaining, like when it shows our favorite sport.

• TV can be bad. Many shows have things that go against the Bible. Sometimes when we watch these shows, we have a hard time knowing right from wrong. We hear words that are bad or see things God doesn’t want us to see. We may think we’re just watching the show for fun, but it affects us in a bad way.

• TV can be addicting. That means we want to keep watching it, even when it is best to do something else.

If your parents say it’s okay to watch TV, how do you decide what to watch? God wants us to fill our minds with good things, so pick shows that glorify Him. He also wants us to guard our hearts. What does that mean? It means we make a pretend fence around ourselves and we don’t let bad things in. We don’t want to watch or listen to things that are full of sin because what we put into our hearts will show up in our lives (Proverbs 4:23). Sometimes that means turning the TV off!

Bible Truth

"Children, obey your parents as believers in the Lord. Obey them because it’s the right thing to do. Scripture says, 'Honor your father and mother.' That is the first commandment that has a promise. 'Then things will go well with you. You will live a long time on the earth'" (Ephesians 6:1–3).

"Put everything to the test. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:21–22).

"Finally, my brothers and sisters, always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things" (Philippians 4:8).