As I sat in my apartment last Monday evening watching television, I thought I was simply coming home from a long day and relaxing with a simple show. I didn’t realize I was doing something “wrong” until every person who stopped by asked, “Amanda, what are you watching?” I simply answered, “The Bachelor” and then the judgments and ridicule started. Oh the joys of living in a Christian community. 😉 In the secular world, people would have shrugged it off and sat down to join me. Don’t get me wrong, I love and thrive on living in community with other believers, expect on Monday evenings between 7-9 central time. 😉
Chris said, “Amanda, maybe you should go into the back room and watch it by yourself.” My response? “Then that would be admitting that I am ashamed of what I am doing.” There are a couple of things I took away from the judgment that was shed upon me in those two short hours.
1. I am okay to admit that I watch The Bachelor and enjoy the drama it provides. I don’t believe that Ben F. should be kissing every girl on the show. I don’t support the way the girls act like vultures to get his attention. And clearly, I did not think that going on the show is a viable way to find life long love. But there is just something about the show that hooks me.
2. For a guilty pleasure to be a guilty pleasure, you must be okay with it. I am okay with the fact that approximately 50 people who walked past our living room on Monday evening coined me as one of “those” girls. I know what they are doing on the show is wrong and me watching it is supporting them. And that women aren’t supposed to act that way. And that most of the drama is fabricated by the producers. And that they fall in “love” in these fantasy settings and it’s not real life. And…. But, I am okay with that.
Several years ago when Chris and I were engaged, I was very conscious with my weight and looking good for the wedding. Clearly, eating McDonald’s wouldn’t help that image. I would get McDonald’s, eat it in my car, alone, and then dispose of it in the closet dumpster so no one would know what I just consumed. That wouldn’t be called a guilty pleasure, rather just…guilty.
3. Christians can be pretty judgmental, myself included. Myself…really included. I am very quick to look at someone’s lifestyle and pick out what they are doing wrong. Or to label people based upon the shows they watch, the food they eat or the way they spend their time and money. Who am I to say that what I watch/eat/spend my time/money on is any better? Rather, my approach should be that of grace, love and mercy upon people who might need some wisdom on making God honoring decisions. Or they might need someone to come along aside of them and do life together.
4. Through our [Christian] guilty pleasures, we are still to be making our decisions based upon the Truth and with Godly wisdom. Once my Bachelor watching turns into sinful actions or thoughts, I’ll stop. If my McDonald’s eating turns into gluttony, I’ll stop. If your guilty pleasure has led you into sin, it’s time to put an end it. Just because it’s a “guilty pleasure” does not mean it’s okay in the eyes of Christ.
Here’s to you the BumpIt User, The Bachelor watcher, or the Shake Weight exerciser, be healthy in your guilty pleasures and avoid judging other people! With that…you will find me watching The Bachelor in our apartment tomorrow evening. If it won’t lead you to sin and you’d like to join me, it starts are 7:00.