Paul mentioned a key Bible principle that needs to be taken into account when making decisions on personal matters. He stated: “All things are lawful; but not all things build up. Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.” (1 Corinthians 10:23, 24) How does that principle relate to choosing wholesome entertainment? You need to ask yourself, ‘How will the entertainment that I choose affect others?’
Your conscience may allow you to enjoy a certain form of entertainment that you view as “lawful,” or acceptable. However, if you notice that other believers with a more restrictive conscience find it objectionable, you may decide not to pursue it. Why? Because you do not want to “sin against your brothers”—or even be “sinning against Christ,” as Paul stated—by making it more difficult for your fellow believers to maintain faithfulness to God. You take to heart the admonition: “Keep from becoming causes for stumbling.” (1 Corinthians 8:12; 10:32) True Christians today heed Paul’s considerate and perceptive counsel by avoiding entertainment that may be “lawful” but does not “build up.”—Romans 14:1; 15:1.
There is, though, another side to the matter of seeking the advantage of others. A Christian with a more restrictive conscience should not insist that all in the Christian congregation conform to his narrower view on what is proper entertainment. If he were to do so, he would be like a driver on a highway who insists that all other drivers using the same road hold to the same speed that he prefers. Such a demand would not be reasonable. Out of Christian love, someone with a more confining conscience needs to respect fellow believers whose views on entertainment differ somewhat from his own but are still within the bounds of Christian principles. That way, he lets his “reasonableness become known to all men.”—Philippians 4:5; Ecclesiastes 7:16.
In short, how can you make sure that you choose wholesome entertainment? Reject any kind of entertainment that graphically portrays degraded, immoral activities that are expressly condemned in God’s Word. Follow Bible principles that can be applied to types of entertainment that are not specifically mentioned in the Bible. Avoid entertainment that injures your conscience, and be willing to forgo forms of entertainment that might wound the sensitivities of others, especially those of fellow believers. May your firm decision to do so bring glory to God and keep you and your family in his love.