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    When Being a “Fan” Becomes Unhealthy

    Everyone has heard about Twilight, The Hunger Games, even Star Trek and Star Wars. Fandom has been around for a very long time. A fandom is composed of fans who share the same interest in a particular subject, like Twilight, Star Wars, or Harry Potter. Fans can find niches to communicate and share artwork, fanfiction and all kinds of different media relating to their fandom. But what happens when one becomes too involved in fandom and forgets about reality, and even more important: God?

    I first discovered fanfiction when I was twelve or thirteen. Fanfiction are fan-written stories pertaining to a certain fandom like Twilight. I loved reading these stories so much and I read them even when I should have been doing other things. I found myself anxious for the next television show or book to come out and I was always thinking about the plot and characters. I would think about them in church, school, in the shower, everywhere–I just loved my little fandoms so much. I would read the stories for hours and search for news about my fandoms.

    It started to become a part of who I was. Now, may I ask you what is wrong with this picture? I was so into my fandom and lives of the characters on screen and in fanfiction. I put forth these things over family relationships, school and God. I stepped back for a moment and realized I wasn’t living for the Lord at all. I was making idols out of the books, television shows and movies along with the characters.

    I started to make changes in my life. I focused more on God and not on the fandoms. I gradually stopped reading fanfiction and checking the news for all of my favorite fandoms. I removed thousands of pictures and graphics from my computer that related to fan things. I finally realized Jesus Christ is the only one who deserves our constant attention and adoration.

    There is also something serious I want to point out. People write lots of different fanfiction. A large portion of it is sexually explicit and minors can very easily access it. This can be very damaging for a young person to read sexually explicit stories that involve sex acts.

    Some of the writers do know that underage people read their work, although sometimes they have no choice because of the platform on which they are posting their fanfiction. I highly recommend for anyone to stay away from pornographic fanfiction stories. They can become an addiction just like any other type of porn. Some fandoms can be very dark.

    Keep this in mind:

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things (Phililppians 4:8)

    All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together. The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house (Isaiah 44:9-20).

    And they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, ‘You shall not do this’ (2 Kings 17:12).

    Idols can be made out of anything that you put before God. I’m not saying reading and enjoying Twilight or another popular series is bad, just be mindful over how much time you spend on those things.

    Do you need to take a look at the amount of time you are spending on fandom and not on Jesus? Ponder these thoughts if being overly into something has a hold on your heart.

    1. My fandom takes away time from my family and friends and has started impacting our relationships.
    2. My fandom has taken away time spent with Jesus Christ.
    3. I have lost interest in going to church because I would rather spend time reading material from my fandom.
    4. I have thousands of photographs of actors from my fandom on my computer, walls, or binder.
    5. I have taken a drop in my work at school.
    6. I fantasize about the characters all the time.
    7. When I am unable to check my fandom for news, I get anxious.
    8. Last, consider this thought: What kind of hold does your fandom have on your heart? Does it have an unhealthy hold?

    If you say yes to any of these questions, ask God to reveal to you if you need to be convicted of these things. If you find that you truly are addicted to something, seek help from a parent or someone you trust.

    Written by PI Angel, AngelAlly

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