A wise man once told me that a man’s priorities are clearly shown by how he spends his time. So what does an entertainment obsession show about our priorities?
I write about entertainment a lot. I read about entertainment a lot. I justify it, because, after all, I have to know about it in order to write for this blog. But I raised the question to myself recently, that if someone were to compare my use of time with that of a non-believer, would they find any difference in allocation of time? And if the answer is no, and the difference is not primarily in the activities but in the specifics of the activities (in other words, we spend the same amount of time on entertainment, I just watch stuff that’s cleaner), then is that a problem? Should I be concerned about that?
To think about this, we need to first go to a passage that explicitly states that we are to be different, and why we’re supposed to be different.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
There you have it. We’re supposed to be different, and we’re supposed to aim for what the will of God is. But it gets even more powerful and convicting when you see the context leading up to that conclusion. This is Romans 11:33-Romans 12:2:
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
That puts in a little bit better of a perspective. The reason that we’re to be different, that we’re to make our lives a service instead of serving ourselves, is because of what God has done for us. In fact, the term “spiritual worship” is sometimes translated “reasonable service,” and I’m told by those who know Greek that the word that is translated “reasonable” is the word we get the English word for “logic” from. It’s logical. It’s reasonable to make our lives about serving him.
But when we spend most of our down time watching movies, are our lives really about serving Him? When we don’t have time to read what He has to say for our lives, but we have time to see the newest Marvel movie, what are our lives really about?
Entertainment is not inherently wrong, but too many of us have made our lives about doing the same things that world does in a slightly more wholesome way instead of making our lives about serving God. Instead, we should be making way for Christ to take over in every aspect of our lives. That includes the way that we view entertainment, in the messages that it gives us, but even more importantly, it changes how we spend our time. What we do. We’ve started defining how Christ changes us by what we don’t do, which is how we can justify just doing what’s fun, because after all, we aren’t doing the sinful fun things. But Christ is equally interested in what we do. And when we spend our time watching movies and playing video games instead of learning God’s word, praying, serving others, and spreading the news about Jesus, we’ve made our lives about ourselves and slapped on a Christian label to make ourselves feel better.
Stop making excuses. Stop obsessing over the temporary. Make entertainment a side note. Make your life as a whole be about serving God.