is easy, I did it. But not on my own strength…
It all started in my second year of college; I told many of my friends about an amazing series out at the time, the Game of Thrones. I definitely rated it among the best ever written and created, with everything, from zombies, to wolves, to swords, to arrows, to dragons. It had deep concepts of betrayal, love, loyalty, murder, with shallow traces of brutal, bloody, gory murders and unnecessary nudity, proving HBO would go the extra mile to get the attention of their indifferent fans. It even had very religious people, yes, they had different religions, and different Gods, but some followed them, true to the letter. Many of my friends were skeptical at this time, but being the kind of talker I am, I convinced everyone to watch the first episode and like the giant black hole GoT is, everyone sucked into it.
So, what does it take for someone who advocated Game of Thrones, to quit?
I am not telling anyone to quit because I did, finish the article and decide for yourself. I always believed I was watching Game of Thrones only for the plot and that the violence was a side effect. I had a similar feeling about the nudity and was quite indifferent to it. I did not give anyone a chance to justify why I should or should not watch, since I loved the show and am as stubborn as a five year old kid. I was not necessarily a religious person. I did pray whenever needed, but I didn’t think twice about God during the on air dates.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I stumbled across an article telling me why the series was bad by some Christian blog, I ignored it a few times but like an annoying wife, the article was shoved back in my face, over and over again, until I finally read it. Right there I felt Christ convict me about watching a series I knew was bad, deep down. It seemed like he now wanted me to use my power of convincing people to turn them away from the series. I was also constantly reminded that the people I turned to the series, were my burden and I, specifically me, had to turn them away too.
The article went something like this; if a drug addict takes drugs and states he isn’t using them for the high but for the taste, would that make it healthy for him?
This actually got me thinking, an act not done in a long time. I was so happy watching this filth I did not think about the affects it was having on me, my body, my mind, the way I looked at people, and most importantly, my soul. Praying had been the last thing on my mind. I used to say the rosary before bed but that didn’t happen too since I had to make time for new episodes.
Why did I stop?
It didn’t happen overnight, or over one specific reason. I love and still do the series, but will never watch another minute or read another word. It was not the violence, the sex, or the hope that Martin gave you and immediately took away, and it was actually a little bit of everything. Considering everything, it was mostly the nudity. It just felt wrong, I knew that there was a fine line between art and porn but these were lines made up by someone else, and I didn’t have to go by them. I decided that this was too much for me. I would still watch movies, and might be exposed to bad language or sex, but that’s unintentional and random, in Game of Thrones, I was actually hoping, waiting and longing for it. It made me see things differently and not appreciate people as people.
It was then and there I decided I had to quit. I truly believe that Jesus was with me while I made this decision so turning back was not an option. It was not easy. It is very difficult to break a rule you were conforming to like a slave for more than four years. Praying helped a lot, it took me far and in some sense, kept me occupied so I wouldn’t have the time to watch the series. It was during this time that the Lord convicted me to go for daily mass as well as to be faithful to my daily bible reading. I believe this went a long way in purifying my thoughts and actions.
Whenever I thought of watching, I told myself I would wait it out and binge watch later. That didn’t happen. After a while, I had waited so long, I didn’t want to go back. I was about four episodes away from the end of the last season. Considering the suspense and everything, I still managed to quit. I am pretty sure, this could not have been done by me alone and that I did not use my own strength but that of the Holy Spirit.
Truly, it is possible to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
Being told that I am responsible for the many souls whom I convinced to begin watching the show, I have been trying very hard to convince people against watching it ever since.
I conclude with the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Romans where he writes,
“Do not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may discern what is the will of God- what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)