Living Life to the Glory of God
I WILL SET YOUR MIND AT EASE: I am not here to condemn all earthly pleasures, recreation and entertainment. I will say at the outset, however, that the Christian’s life is NOT for the purpose of seeking bodily pleasure and entertainment. Though it may be legitimate to a point, in moderation, our goal is higher, just as the spiritual is higher than the natural.
If earthly pleasures do the body no harm, they can be and should be engaged in to “the glory of God,” in that we can THANK HIM for them. And if they are engaged in biblical moderation.
I take pleasure in eating peanuts, or most any kind of nut. They feed my body and the pleasure I feel I am reminded to thank God for them. However, if I were allergic to them, as some people are, so that they make my body sick, even risking DEATH, then I could not partake of them “to the glory of God.” I would likely then be destroying the temple of the Holy Spirit rather than feeding it and caring for its health. In other words, THAT earthly pleasure would then be ELIMINATED from my list of right things to do “to the glory of God.”
Let a hint to the wise be sufficient. I knew a professing Christian lady once who was addicted to smoking. Her justification for it was that it was a comforting crutch for her. I say that all addiction is some form of an idol when we just have to have it. And a “crutch for comfort”? Come on. If we need comfort, it must come from the Lord, not from smoking that even endangers the body. Pleasures from addiction are highly suspect. I will let it go at that.
For sure some recreation can be restorative for the body, just as rest is. We are to WORK, but the body needs periodic rest. Even Jesus rested. But again, there is the Bible principle of moderation in all things. Too much rest turns into what we call LAZINESS and slothfulness, a waste of precious time lost from such a short time on earth. And let us say you are a parent, and you are engaging in the recreation of playing ball out in the yard with your children. This most certainly is a GOOD and right thing to do and can be glorifying to God in that your body is being restored and you are or can be building character and good relationships with your own children.
On the other hand, when recreation is not needed, to spend too much time at it, or in activities that might be questionable, then it, too, becomes highly suspect of having a redeeming factor of glorifying God.
When I was a youth, a neighbor, who I sometimes helped on his farm, would often say, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” You may have heard that expression yourself. After helping him during the day, like loading and unloading hay, he would let us take a swim in his pond. That most surely was mixing recreation with work, a GOOD thing for young lads.
Ah, this is a “biggie.” Where in the Bible are we told to entertain ourselves? Most entertainment is a distraction from spirituality, or spiritual growth and meditation, meaningful thoughts. Good and helpful recreation can tie-in with wholesome entertainment. I am not warning against that.
But let us mention being entertained by watching a MODERATE amount of television. And there is NOT much on it these days worth spending our time on. It is mostly distracting from doing BETTER things. Yet some of it can be helpful, inspiring and educational, while being relaxing and recreational. IN MODERATION.
I heard a minister once point out that we should measure the programs we watch by whether or not they promote obedience or disobedience to the law of God. In other words, do they endorse sin? Do they diminish respect for marriage, for the right training of children by teaching Christian principles? Do they work against what is godly and righteous? Do they make a mock of God by promoting sin and ungodliness? Or do they INSPIRE to leading a helpful and better life? Do they breed and feed lust instead?
Take seriously a “measuring stick” like this. Also note how distracting what you watch can be in spending precious time where something BETTER can be engaged in. You will find very little that is really worth watching either on TV or any movies you might bring into your home. Most is simply worldly and of the world, and thus VERY POPULAR WITH THE WORLD. And note this scripture:
“Love NOT the world, neither the things that in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
And we can look also at the 16th verse, “For all that is the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
This, in fact, sums up MOST of what you can see on TV and the movies, even on the Internet and the video games. How seriously do you take such scriptures? And the Bible also says, “Keep thyself PURE.”
Perhaps most of us have heard the expression, “Live each day as though it were your last.” Then learn from Scripture that says,
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 15:34)
And knowing the time [life is short, and we are in the last days], it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11)
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)
“In ALL thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct Thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD.”
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS.” (Philippians 4:8)