Some of us should take the cue

I know some of you have read Don’t Waste Your Life. I’m reading through it now on PDF, and this little passage is convicting, partly because I know Piper is known to live what he preaches. He doesn’t own a TV. For those who haven’t read it, this passage is just a small side comment to his main point–the book is more about what we should do rather than what we shouldn’t. By the way, reading things on paper is so much better than reading them on the computer. My eyes get so tired on the computer. God made our bodies so that they tell us we shouldn’t be on the computer too much.

Television is one of the greatest life-wasters of the modern age. And, of course, the Internet is running to catch up, and may have caught up. You can be more selective on the Internet, but you can also select worse things with only the Judge of the universe watching. TV still reigns as the great life-waster. The main prob­lem with TV is not how much smut is available, though that is a problem. Just the ads are enough to sow fertile seeds of greed and lust, no matter what program you’re watching. The greater problem is banality. A mind fed daily on TV diminishes. Your mind was made to know and love God. Its facility for this great calling is ruined by excessive TV. The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the mind to think worthy thoughts withers, and the capacity of the heart to feel deep emotions shrivels.

John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

Stab…twist. Just replace “TV” with “Internet.” He goes on to write about the uselessness of pouring our time, energy, and money into trivial pursuits such as sports, gardening, cars, entertainment, computer/video games, clothes.

I could even say the same about some religious things we do, if taken to the extreme…fellowship, reading theology, listening to sermons.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephen on August 19, 2009 at 5:30 PM

    Hey Sam,

    Just found your blog through Facebook and I’m encouraged by the quality of your posts. I think even if this quote isn’t the main point of the book, its practical importance is still closely related. I definitely agree with what Piper says, re: TV’s banality being of worse consequence than its smuttiness. I think it’s most apparent, not in reality shows, but in sitcoms. Also, McLuhan’s insight that “the medium is the message” sheds an important light on how TV even as a medium apart from its content also affects how we think and view life itself.

    PS: I definitely agree that books are meant to be read as paper hard copies. I appreciate DG’s free pdf’s but I’ve benefited little from trying to read through that format.

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