Monday, September 1, 2008

Finding Personal Limitations

For several weeks now, we’ve been studying personal limitations in-depth. From gender and personality to culture and experiences we have touched on many different areas.

But ultimately it all boils down to one question: How do you or I find our limitations? How can we make our guidelines personal?

First, observe. How do you feel after finishing different movie types? Is there a pattern of being emotionally drained, edgy or unable to sleep after reading or watching a specific genre? What are problem areas that you already struggle with and which stories help or increase the struggle?

I know I have problems with an overactive imagination and very graphic films feed that. That horror genre leaves me edgy. I noticed that watching Murder, She Wrote could make sleeping difficult for me afterwards.

Then experiment. Is the problem the whole genre or one way the genre is handled? Are other factors at work, such as time of day or watching a movie in theater versus on television? Push a little the boundaries set by observation, or try something a little bit different. Does it make any difference? This is how I found out I can watch Murder, She Wrote—as long it’s before 7 p.m. Darkness and the nearness of bedtime, as well as the presence or lack of others, are all factors I monitor.

Finally, listen. What do other Christians, especially mature ones who know you well, say about your fiction habits? What kind of patterns do non-Christians spot? It is possible to have blind spots or become desensitized (a whole other topic we’ll be covering in the future). So ask other what they see and weigh carefully what you’re hearing. You might discover something about yourself you never knew.

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