Is entertainment, fun and play hurting your walk???
Like every other Christian who is reading this, once becoming born again I was put on a path of cleaning up my life, “the sanctification wagon” could be a good term.
It is called the process of sanctification, getting all the sharp edges knocked off, all the pot holes filled in, get all my selfishness, addictions, time wasting , evil desires, lusts, greed, anger, vengeance, lying, etc… all turned down, filled in, rubbed off and replaced with love, peace, joy, hope, faithfulness, obedience, patience and love.
In other words becoming more and more conformed into the image of Christ every day.
Sometimes over the last 10 years I have had many hiccups, I have fallen off the wagon a few times with the bumps in life! Even grabbed hold of some “favourite” sins where it is best described that I “jumped off the wagon and chucked a hissy fit kicking and screaming on the ground like a child” saying “NO I don’t want to give this up.”
But if the Gospel is clearly understood, taking time to reflect on what Jesus did on the cross should always shine through. Once we have lost the red face and the dust settles, the only important thing to ask ourself is “is Jesus LORD of your life? or not?” “is this THING worth dying over?”
The holy spirit will be bringing us in to alignment with His will, shaping us into a useful tool. And don’t we all want to be the sharpest tool in the shed so that the master craft carpenter will use us to reveal some of His glory to the world?
So what has this to do with the Gospel and evangelism???
When I was married 20 months ago to my darling Analie, the sin of “time wasting” took on a whole new perspective. I was cool with the not getting drunk, not smoking, swearing, having fits of anger.
Rather for me one of the BIG things that I had not “let go of” was playing computer games…
Every night, every weekend, hour after hour, playing…playing…playing…
I still gave devotion to my wife, I still worked, I still helped out…But…
It was only few months in to our marriage when Analie went to our room crying, I finished playing, packed up and went to bed, she was still crying and I knew I was in for it! Despite her not wanting to talk about it, I pushed and pushed until I got it out of her, “you just play too much, you waste so much time there, you…”
That was it, then she would not talk any more.
So while lying there for what must have been 2 hours, I covered all my bases with God as I “talked in my head” trying to justify my lifestyle… but getting nowhere. My conscience had had alarm bells ringing for years and I knew it!
YES I was once again on the ground red faced and crying over some little trinket that was never going to mean anything in the long run.
Soon a thought of logic came up that said:
“If my lifestyle habits upset my wife so much, what does God think about it?”
“If every idle word will be judged when I die, what about my idle wast of my money, time, ability, etc”
“Is having finished all my PS2 games really going to help me in heaven?”
“Am I using all the talents God has given me, to advance his kingdom?”
After what was about 45 min of debating I got up walked to the computer, ejected the disc, stood in the kitchen asking for help, asked forgiveness for all my wasted time on pointless things, as I flexed my most favourite and loved game DVD bending more and more, until I finally summand up the courage, then broke it in half.
Wow what growth! Wow what joy! Wow what good times reading the bible out loud together at night! Wow what good research was done in to cults! WOW more time with my wife! Wow what more teaching I learned! On and on and on.
Until 6 months go by and I fell off again, it snuck up on me and I fell in to the trap again.
Wonderful wife cried again, confirmed the conviction that I already knew I had, I got serious again, and with all glory going to God I have been out of my time wasting addictions since.
To be honest the desire to play still has a strong hold over me, I DO want to play, but I no longer play because I know that I will wast to much time. Same with TV programs, DVDs, movies, not just about time but from the area of holiness.
So what is the meaning of all this?
If you are on the path of sanctification and finding yourself red faced on the ground, ask yourself these questions. “Is what I don’t want to give up:”
Stopping me spreading the Gospel?
Dulling my conscience?
Stopping me from sharpening my skill with people?
Would I do I if Jesus was with me for a week?
Could I be getting into the Word more?
Setting a bad example to others around me?
What weight should my cross be?
Am I even carrying my cross?
Do people close to me say I have a issue?
So I end with these simple statements:
The Christian Life is always going to be filled with ups and downs, joys and trials, and we are supposed to count the cost of following Jesus and be prepared to pay that cost. For some things we know deep down that we are in the wrong and we should obey and stop, where other things we may need the extra nudge of a loved one who can see our failings and help us become more like Jesus.
We will never be perfect while on earth, but if we are on the path we should be getting more focused on what Jesus calls and commands us to be like and do.
All work and no play makes most people insane! But is knowing “who is sleeping with who” on Home and Away [etc…] or getting 200,000,000 kills on playstation going to earn me a crown in heaven or give any glory to God???
We can’t seek and save the lost while sitting on the lounge!
If Jesus is not Lord of ALL, He is NOT Lord at ALL