It is healthy for Christians to make an appraisal of their activities. We need to examine ourselves and put ourselves to the test (2 Corinthians 13:5). What about my fun activities, physical exercise, and love of sports? How do these affect my service to the Lord? Are you ready to do a serious, honest evaluation of yourself? Let us ask ourselves: “How do my relaxing/fun activities affect my service to my God?”
- Is there any legitimate benefit in physical exercise, watching sports, and doing other things for pleasure? Jesus once told His apostles, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). So, it is appropriate to get some rest, do something fun, or just take a break from our normal routine. Such can help a person to clear his mind and make him more productive. When it comes to physical exercise, the Bible plainly says that “bodily exercise profits” (1 Timothy 4:8). True, in comparison to godliness, a bodily workout produces “little” benefit, but it still is a good thing.
- Am I addicted to watching or participating in sports? Paul said that for him to live was the Christ (Philippians 1:21). His life could be summarized in one word: “Christ.” Which of the following would describe my life accurately? Do I love to live because I can live for Jesus, or do I love to live so I can watch or take part in sports? Are sports and pleasure activities of equal or more importance to me than my Savior? The Bible says that we are facing perilous times if people are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4).
- How do my fun activities affect my conversations? People tend to talk about things in which they have interest or matters that bring them pleasure. When you and I talk with others, do we spend more time talking about recreation and fun or matters that are spiritual in nature? If I am a fan of a particular sport team or music group, and because of my intense love of them I am most happy to rattle off all kinds of biographical info about the players or band members, but I am unable to name Bible verses about what a lost person must do in order to have his sins forgiven, could it not be that there is something amiss in my priorities? “The cares of this world” are a big pitfall for many (Mark 4:19). Let us beware.
- How do my fun activities affect my ability to attend the church’s Bible classes and worship services? God wants His children to set their minds on things above and not earthly affairs (Colossians 3:1,2). Choosing to attend, participate in, or watch a sporting/fun event instead of assembling with the saints shows that someone does not have their priorities in order.
- How do my fun activities affect my ability to worship in spirit? Some saints stay up so late on Saturday night playing or watching the broadcast of some form of entertainment that they are “not with it” when they come for services on Sunday morning. Some choose to skip Bible class; that is, they choose sleep over studying Scriptures. Others drag in with their eyes barely open, and when prayers are offered and sermons are preached, they can hardly stay awake. One does not have to be an Einstein to identify the cause of their fatigue – too much fun stuff too late at night. Brethren, it is not funny. If my routine hinders me from worshipping God from the heart, then I need to alter my routine. Amen?
- How do my fun activities affect my relationship with my family members? Husbands and wives, as well as parents and children, need to spend time together. If dad is always out playing or watching some game, that just might hinder his ability to communicate with and care for his family. Let us not allow a recreational habit, ballgame, or fun activity to pull us away from our devotion to our family, which ought to be second only to our love for the Lord.
- How do my fun activities affect my financial contribution to the Lord? I am to give as I have been prospered (1 Corinthians 16:1,2). Do I spend more money on recreation and fun stuff than I contribute to my Creator? Do I cut back on my weekly giving in order to have more fun? It should not be that way!
Are you looking for people who love sports? Count me in. But I know that our commitment to our Savior must be above everyone and everything else. Take a break from your normal routine. Enjoy your fun. But do not put your soul in danger in the process.
— Roger D. Campbell