Know a Christian Who Seems to Love Movies More Than Jesus?

Know a Christian Who Seems to Love Movies More Than Jesus?

What should you do if you know someone who seems to be more excited about movies than Jesus?

Many professing Christians give little evidence of valuing Jesus more than the latest movie they have seen. Or the latest clothing they bought. Or the latest app they downloaded. Or the latest game they watched. Something is amiss.

We are not God and cannot judge with certainty and precision what’s wrong. There is a glitch somewhere. Perhaps a blindness going in, a spiritual deadness at heart, or a blockage coming out. Or some combination. Christ doesn’t appear supremely valuable. Or isn’t felt as supremely valuable. Or can’t be spoken of as supremely valuable. Or some combination.

Here’s my suggestion. Instead of dampening their enthusiasm for movies, clothing, apps, and events, let that go as an expression of God-given personality. Instead, model expressive joy in Jesus. Over time, if there is no resonance from their heart with your joy, query them humbly:

I love your enthusiasm for the things you get excited about. You’re so free and expressive about good movies and nice clothes and cool apps. It seems odd to me that you don’t seem to be as expressive about the way you feel about Jesus and what he’s done for us. Have you thought about why that might be?

The point of this query is to help them see that the problem is not joyfully loving good created things. The problem is the apparent absence of similar affections for Christ.

If similar affections for Jesus are not possible, then the specter of idolatry becomes serious. But they may sense this themselves without your having to start with that indictment, if you draw their attention not to the excitement that’s there, but to what’s missing.

We don’t want them to lose their exuberance about anything good. We want Christ to be supreme in their hearts so that all their exuberance comes under him and for his sake. When Jesus is felt as supremely valuable in our hearts, all other values gradually become properly ordered and purified.

May the Lord give you great courage and wisdom as you help people awaken to the supreme value of Jesus.

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.