Christian discipleship is a constant cycle of letting go and taking up.

So, on the letting go side of the ledger … we cancelled our family Netflix subscription this week.

Lest you think I’m being needlessly judgy, I am not suggesting that subscribing to Netflix is a sin, nor that everyone should abandon live-stream services.

It was something that I knew I had to do.

Following Christ is more than just avoiding breaking the Ten Commandments, though that, of course, is a great start.

Walking the extra mile, turning the other cheek, and making our virtue more than skin deep are all clauses of the New Covenant.

Cultural flash points are bombarding faithful Catholics at such a rate now that it is worth recalling our Lord’s testimony, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (Jn 15:18).

3 Reasons Why We Cancelled Netflix

Anyway, back to Netflix. The first real ping of discomfort I felt wasn’t so much the programs that we would never watch anyway, it was the moronic scrolling through endless content icons. Everyone does it. Being sucked into the Netflix vortex is inescapable. It’s the virtual equivalent of shopping at Ikea.

Then came news that Netflix management has decided to fight the heartbeat legislation in the US state of Georgia, where elected officials have nobly sought to protect her unborn citizens. Georgia, as it turns out, hosts as much movie and TV production as Hollywood, and in this growing climate of big business activism, Netflix came to the rescue.

Embarrassingly, that wasn’t the last straw. While watching a Netflix movie with my 17-year-old son, there was a blasphemy uttered by the main character that was so egregious, it made me shudder and wince. That did it. But it wasn’t the end of it.

Achieving the Peace of Letting Go

We don’t have free-to-air TV, so cancelling Netflix was going to have family impact. And our adult children who live away from home also make use of the subscription.

Nonetheless, once I explained my reasons, they understood and agreed with the course of action. Actually, their response made me feel real pride (the good kind of pride) as a father.

And that was the end of it.

It can hurt to let something go. We tend to pridefully (the bad kind) cling to our choices.

The thing I learnt from the Netflix drama, was that I shouldn’t wait to act until, on balance, it hurt more to retain it than to let it go. As St Paul chides, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph 5:11).

What have you found you had to let go?

What was holding you back? What prompted you to finally let go?

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