Does God really care what I do when I’m relaxing? I’ve always found this to be an interesting question. I’ve spoken to other Christians that devote a lot of time and energy in their personal ministry to God. They pray every day, study the bible, contribute financially to their place of worship and preach about God to others. Yet, when it comes to their “me time,” they feel that they can listen or watch whatever they want, almost as if their choice of entertainment is separate from their worship of God.
Is this the right approach to your devotion to God? Can you really follow God in every other way except with what you do in your free time? How do your decisions about recreation affect your relationship with God? Does it even matter? Based on the scriptures I will discuss with you; the answer may be surprising!
The Challenges with Today’s Entertainment
When it comes to choosing how we entertain ourselves, there are so many options out there. There is an abundance of different music, movies, books, games and online options available. What can help us stay focused on making the right decision?
Many people may reason that what they choose as recreation is a personal decision. That it is such a minor choice in the grand scheme of things that God would not care. But imagine that your child is standing in front of a Tattoo parlor and is considering if they should get a permanent tattoo or not. They could reason that they have obeyed your major instructions and don’t need your input on this matter. Or they may determine that it is such a small decision, they don’t need to consider your thoughts and feelings on their decision. How would you feel about your considerations being ignored? What impact would your child’s bad choices have on your relationship with them?
You may not realize it, but entertainment can have permanent effects on our thoughts, feelings and actions. We may not believe that our relationship with God is being affected but it is. The same way we want to train our children to consider our viewpoints as parents, God wants us to keep his views in mind as our heavenly father.
Entertainment today is completely different from the innocent activities of years ago. Growing up, my childhood was filled with climbing trees, making and flying kites, riding bicycles, playing hopscotch and shooting marbles (you can probably determine my age just from hearing about those activities!)
Today’s entertainment mostly consists of activities that are unsatisfying, immoral, violent or even demonic. So how do I choose my recreation?
Our Choice of Entertainment Affects Our Relationship with God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
The first bible principle that we can use to help us choose good entertainment is found in 1st Corinthians chapter 10 and verse 31. That scriptures emphasize that,
…whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (New King James Version)
To put this simply, no matter what we are doing; whether we are working, participating in spiritual activities or relaxing, we must make God happy by doing things that he favors. I personally try to keep in mind that whatever choice I make when it comes to entertainment affects my relationship with God. When we are selecting what we do in our free time remember,
what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness. (2 Peter 3:11, New King James Version)
We want our choices to be righteous and moral. We also want to view entertainment the way God views it.
View Entertainment the Way God Views It (Psalms 97:10)
Psalms 97 verse 10 gives us a simple and concise guideline that we can use to determine what God approves and disapproves of. That scripture states,
You who love the Lord, hate evil! (New King James Version)
Think of the ways we can apply this when choosing entertainment. All we have to do is consider what recreation activities include themes, scenes, music and words that are corrupt, depraved and immoral.
For example, if we are trying to decide what movie to watch, we can ask ourselves the following questions: Does the movie feature idolatry? Spiritism? Drunkenness? Blood and gore? Does it condone wild parties and sexual immorality? Feature nudity? These are a few concerns to consider before you decide on what to allow into your home.
This seems like a lot of effort to put into choosing what to do for relaxation. But if we want God’s approval, we must view things the way he does. The bible teaches us how our God thinks and feels. It is up to us to follow his standards. The sacrifices we make to keep our entertainment clean is well worth it.
If we need suggestions on what we should be focusing on, Philippians chapter 4 verse 8 gives us excellent suggestions,
…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (New King James Version)
This is what God wants us to reflect on. These qualities are what our relaxation activities should be filled with. If they’re not, then our worship to God can be affected.
How Can Our Entertainment Affect Our Worship to God? (Romans 12:1)
At this point, we have discovered that our choice of entertainment can affect our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We have also discussed that we should view entertainment the way God does and how we can do so. Why is this important? It can affect our worship of him.
When we consider Jesus example, everything he did when he was on earth was pleased God. Whether he was preaching, healing the sick, raising the dead or eating and relaxing with his disciples, his priority was on ensuring his worship of God was holy and clean. Like Jesus, everything we do in our lives is connected to our worship of God.
This point is highlighted for us in the scripture found in Romans chapter 12 verse 1,
…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (New King James Version)
In every area of life, we want to serve God fully and give him the best that we can give. We cannot expect God to be happy with us if we are viewing or doing things that he hates. We want to choose clean and exemplary entertainment that will make him happy.
You can take a look at more entertainment options below.
Choose Entertainment That Makes God Happy!
Every bible principle that we read is for our benefit, but we can only benefit when we follow the bible’s warnings. If you previously thought that your choice of entertainment wouldn’t affect your relationship with God, I hope that this post gave you some food for thought.
If we want to do God’s will, we must avoid the things he hates, view entertainment the way he does and remember that whatever we choose affects our relationship with him.
This may be difficult to do considering the inappropriate entertainment that we are surrounded by. It takes effort to find clean recreational activities in an unclean world. In another post, Wholesome Indoor and Outdoor Activities for Christians, I give suggestions for some wholesome activities you can consider doing by yourself and with your family.
We want to keep focused on developing a strong relationship with God. Our choice of entertainment is one of many ways we show God that we love him and want to be obedient to him. Instead of the choosing a violent game or movie when we have downtime, we can replace these with good things, keeping our relationship with God pure. Making God happy makes us happy!
Thank you for digging into these scriptural gems with me! Do you know of any other scriptures that can help us keep our relationship with God strong? Please share in the comments below!