Author: Kai Burmeister (Darby H.S.)
In 2015, the average Netflix user watched for 1 hour and 33 minutes per day, according to time.com. This adds up to around 2 days out of every month and almost 24 days out of every year! This is only one of the many entertainment services available to us everyday. From video games and TV, to Youtube and streaming video services, us lazy Americans rack up thousands of hours of time spent behind a screen. Has our society gone too far? What does God and the Bible say about the time we spend entertaining ourselves? In this article, I will be examining the amount of time we spend interacting with digital entertainment, not the content.
Personally, I can’t go a second before an ad endorsing some form of entertainment catches my eye. I get so easily caught up in the newest game or show that’s coming out next. Entertainment choices are everywhere: TV, movies, newspapers, magazines, Internet, gaming systems, iPads, and the phone in your pocket. When I have free time, I tend to spend the majority of it being a couch potato. In these moments I often think things like: “Is God ok with me lounging around like this?” or “Shouldn’t I be doing more for God right now?” If you’ve thought similar things, you’re not alone. These are questions myself and many other Christians struggle with. So here’s what God’s word has to say:
- “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” -Matthew 6:24
This is an incredibly powerful verse. Here Jesus says that you’re either all in for God or all in for the world. I don’t like that. I want a little bit of Jesus and a little bit of the world. My flesh and my spirit are always fighting over this. The world can seem so appealing, and yet God’s love makes me want to pursue him too. How about you? Do the things of the world ever feel appealing to you & pull at your heart?
- “But all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things. Therefore no fruit is produced.” -Mark 4:19
Jesus explains that our worldly desires are making our spiritual lives unfruitful. From these verses we see that Jesus gives us a choice. We have to pick God or the world. There is no grey area. Being lukewarm isn’t an option.
- “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” -Revelation 3:15-16
I don’t want you to think I’m even close to perfect in this area either. Every weekend I battle this and struggle to make wise use of my time. It’s hard to make good entertainment choices. It is so much easier to just be lazy & relax and watch whatever we want as much as we want. While binge watching the entire “13 Reasons Why” series on Netflix may be entertaining, maybe that’s not the best thing for us.
One of my favorite artists, Andy Mineo, released a song in 2015 called “Uncomfortable”. In the song, he sees that comfort and entertainment take our focus off God and shifts our focus to worldly things instead. Check out the lyrics from the first verse:
God prepare me for the war
Comfort be the thing that’ll make a king fall
Eyes on the Lord, gotta grip that blade of the sword
Tell me how you plan on gettin’ swole if you don’t ever get sore (hold up)
They say, Andy, this ain’t music for your car
If they jumpin’ ship now, they was never on board
I got enemies, man they wanna see me on the floor
I got frenemies, couldn’t even tell you who they are
If you’re not driven by the mission, you’ll be driven by the cars
Focused on what you been gettin’ more than becomin’ who you are
I tried to point ’em to the Son, but why they callin’ me a star?
Who woulda thought we set they minds free with these bars?
In this game, in this biz
Want the fame, want get rich
Comfort, everybody wantin’ it
Never knew I could be lost in this
This my sophomore, gotta go hard
When the show over, no encore
I got enough but I want more, want more!
In our material society, it’s so easy to lose sight of God. Everyday we have a choice; we can pursue God or pursue comfort. One will leave us forever satisfied while the other doesn’t produce happiness. One leads to growth and the other leads to a lack of spiritual productivity. Our purpose as followers of Jesus is to advance the kingdom of God, and as much as I wish I could, I can’t achieve that purpose while I’m on sitting on my lazy butt. Remember, the idea of pleasure was created by God. In moderation, pleasure is a good thing but it is not meant to be the main thing. If you’re conflicted with this issue, ask God for wisdom.
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” -James 1:5
Put Your Faith into Action:
- Are we too comfortable?
- How much time do you spend each week engaged in entertainment?
- How could you use your time better?
- What could you do this week to pursue the things of God instead of the things of the world?
Text: © 2017 LCC- F.R.O.G. Youth Ministry. Used with author’s permission.