Mon, 18 Jul 2022 Feature Article

Watch the Movies You Watch [They Can Harm You]

Watch the Movies You Watch They Can Harm You

I love movies. I learn a lot from them. I particularly like TV series with a good story line or one off true life stories. My antenna is always alert to pick lessons when I am watching movies.

My all time favourite movie is 'The Pursuit of Happyness' (acted by Will Smith and his son). It's a grass to grace story about a single homeless father who fought his way through life to fend for himself and his only child. The poor man later became a rich forex broker. It's a very inspirational story.

Many people watch movies for entertainment and relaxation. According to Motion Picture Association 2019 report on the international box office and home entertainment market:

“Young people were shown to be focally important to the industry. Per capita, the highest attendance to see films in theaters for the U.S. and Canada was among 12 to 17-year-olds and closely followed by 18 to 24-year-olds. Daily viewers of films and TV shows on mobile devices skewed heavily towards 18 to 24 and 25 to 39-year-old age groups.”

So, even though movies are good for entertainment and gleaning life lessons, it is also a playground for the devil to propagate everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.

In this write-up, I seek to bring to our attention two major ways movies can be harmful to our lives.

#1. Sexual Immorality

The first thing we must be watchful about is an orientation in sexual immorality. When I typed 'sex in movies', I had about 1,290,000,000 results in 0.51 seconds on Google search. That shows how common sex in movies are.

In a research by Ross O’Hara (post-doctoral fellow at the University of Missouri) with other psychological scientists, they found that sex in movies have effects on people who patronize it. Speaking on the findings, O’Hara stated that,

“Adolescents who are exposed to more sexual content in movies start having sex at younger ages, have more sexual partners, and are less likely to use condoms with casual sexual partners,”

It's clear that many movies promote sexual immorality that also affect the lifestyle of viewers (especially the youth). Thus, we must deliberately screen what we watch.

The Bible admonishes believers in Christ to avoid sexual immorality or pornography of any sort (1 Corinthians 6:18). What we watch can influence our actions and impact our spiritual lives.

We can only avoid this if we heed the following counsels from the Bible:

Job said,

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?" (Job 31:1 NKJV)

Jesus said,

"If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell."

(Matthew 5:29 NKJV)

To avoid being influenced by local and foreign movies towards sexual immorality, we must make strong decisions anchored on our biblical values and also totally cut off movies with such contents.

Number two is equally crucial to avoid…

#2. Physical Violence

The second major way many movies on our screens affect us is the physical violence they propagate. In real life, I rarely see people being brutalised, but in movies, it is made to seem as a common thing in life. They teach us that when someone sins against us, we must unleash harm on them.

According to The World Health Organization (WHO), violence is defined as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”

In the write-up on ‘The Purpose of Violent Images, the author stated that, “One of the main reasons why film makers choose to create violent content in their movies is because violence, just like sex, sells.” It is done deliberately to satisfy the cravings of some people.

In 'Effects of Exposure to Gun Violence in Movies on Children’s Interest in Real Guns' by Kelly P. Dillon and Brad J. Bushman published online in the National Library of Medicine, they conducted an experiment with 104 children ages between 8 and 12 years who were tested in pairs on the effect of guns in the media on children. It found that,

"Children who viewed a PG-rated movie containing guns played with a real gun longer and pulled the trigger more times than did children who viewed the same movie not containing guns."

Part of the conclusion also stated that,

"… children who see movie characters use guns are more likely to use guns themselves."

The effect is that,

"Every day in the United States, nearly 40 children are shot. More than 1.7 million children live in a home with unsecured guns."

Have you realized that the moment you are done watching action violent movies, you start to act in part like some character in the movie? The more you watch, the more it becomes normal and it will eventually reflect in your life.

Physical violence is not sanctioned by God as a means of revenge on our 'enemies' in life. Oh yes, someone may ask: why then did God use violence on His enemies in the Old Testament? You said it right. They are the enemies of God and not your own enemies. What God does is righteous and just. Visiting violence on people was a means of His timely judgment and punishment for their sins against Him. This will ultimately be the fate of the world when Christ comes to judge the living and the dead. (Matthew 24)

But in the New Testament, we are taught to love our enemies and wish well those who hate us.

Matthew 5:38-39 (NKJV) says,

"“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also."

In Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV) Paul identifies violence as the work of the flesh.

"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

It is evident that violence is the work of the flesh which is abhorred by Christ. If we consume such contents and allow it to influence us, it will be counter-productive to our walk with the Lord. We must audit what we watch.


We must guard our hearts against what we watch. In my write-up on What Many Secular Music Actually Promote, I shared some of the negative values we must guard against.

We live in a world that wants to take a footstool in our lives to steal our heart for satan. It is our duty to avoid what will drag us in sin and displease God. Whatever we watch enters our hearts and eventually affects our lives.

Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV) says,

"Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life."

When you watch movies, be careful of the these twin values of sexual immorality and physical violence. We must not allow what will contaminate our life to enter our heart.

Eric Otchere

[email protected]