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    • By Bible Speaks
      IF SOMEONE offered you a million dollars to give up television for the rest of your life, would you do so? Some years ago 1 in 4 Americans surveyed said that they would not. Another survey asked men what they wanted most. The majority said that they desired peace and happiness. But this came second on their wish list. What they wanted first in life was a big-screen television! The time that many people devote to television is astonishing. Recently, a global study showed that, on average, people watch TV for just over three hours each day. North Americans watch four and a half hours daily, while the Japanese top the list at five hours per day. Those hours add up. If we watch four hours daily, by age 60 we will have spent ten years in front of the screen. Yet, none of us would want inscribed on our tombstone: “Here lies our beloved friend, who devoted one sixth of his [or her] life to watching TV.” 
      “The eating of too much honey is not good,” wrote wise King Solomon. (Proverbs 25:27) The same principle applies to TV viewing. Though television offers much that is worthwhile, heavy viewing can cut into family time, hinder reading and academic performance in children, and contribute to obesity. 
      If you invest a great deal of time in watching TV, it is smart to think about what you are getting in return. Our time is too precious to waste. It is also smart to think about what we watch. The question we need to ask ourselves is this, ‘Does what I watch affect my thinking in the way I want it to?" 
      For those who serve God, that question has special relevance. Much of what is shown on television runs contrary to the lofty principles and moral standards taught in the Bible. Lifestyles and practices that the Scriptures condemn are presented as acceptable, normal, and even trendy. 
      At the same time, Christian values and those who appear to practice them are frequently ignored, ridiculed, or derided on television. One author lamented: “It is not enough for the deviant to be normalized. The normal must be found to be deviant.” All too frequently the “subtle instructor” whispers: “Good is bad and bad is good.”—Isaiah 5:20. 
      We must be careful about what we watch, for it will affect our thinking. The Bible says: “He that is walking with wise persons will become wise, but he that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly.” (Proverbs 13:20) 
      Bible scholar Adam Clarke notes: “To walk with a person implies love and attachment; and it is impossible not to imitate those we love. So we say, ‘Show me his company, and I’ll tell you the man.’ 
      Let me know the company he keeps, and I shall easily guess his moral character.” 
      As we have seen, most people spend a great deal of time in the company of television characters who are far from wise, characters a sincere Christian would otherwise never dream of inviting into his home. 
      Lesson for today. ????? (Prov 13:20)
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