Since the day I became a Christian, I have struggled with keeping my interests. I am not talking about the obviously sinful things, I mean the hobbies that weren't wrong but people treated as a problem. People never stop talking about putting God first, and they are right, but they have a tendency to take it so far that you feel like you have to be on your face praying 24/7 or you are barely even a Christian. This is not the right mindset to have and that is what I want to talk about right now.
We all have hobbies and interests. Some of us like sports while others like video games, it doesn't really matter and the options are limitless. Plenty of us have careers we are pursuing and trying to do our best in. All of us want to have enough money to feel comfortable and safe, and so we prioritize money.
None of these things are automatically bad by themselves. There isn't anything actually sinful about any of these things but that won't stop people for making you feel guilty about them. Hobbies are fine, so long as they don't control your entire life and you still keep God as your focus while you do them. The same goes for your career, keep God the focus of your life and it is fine to prioritize your job. And money is just a means to an end, needing it is not the same as loving it, and I wouldn't do anything wrong just to get it. The bible talks about the love of money being evil, but that doesn't mean we can't do everything we can to earn enough to provide for our families. There is no biblical requirement to be poor and avoid money.
The reason I bring these things up is because I have met plenty of people who will treat you like a sinner if you focus on any of these things. They act as if when you do normal life things you aren't putting God first and you need to fix it. If you took it all to its logical conclusion, you would live in a box hiding from the world praying all day, occasionally surfacing to preach the gospel before going back to praying. You see, unless you are doing something that puts your direct focus on God, you are doing it wrong. At least if you have this sort of mindset, I am sure feeding the poor would work too but you have no money and you aren't Jesus so more likely than not you would need fed as compared to feeding anyone. It is a pretty scary mindset to have, because pretty much no matter what you are doing, you will feel some sort of guilt. Luckily, this is not what God actually wants for anyone.
The reality is that God made this world for us, even in it's fallen state we were always meant to enjoy it. We were also meant to focus on him, which is as much for us as it is for him. God is amazing and is always with us, he will never let you down. Really, it is only us that let him down, so what is the balance we are meant to have? The answer is to simply live Godly lives, be the example God wants you to be. In anything and everything you do, be exactly the person you know you need to be. God is the focus for me no matter where I go because I never want to disappoint him and I always want to do his work. I have given the gospel to people in every area of my life. When I am playing video games, I tell people about Jesus, the same goes for when I go to work. When I make money, I use it to provide for my family exactly as the bible tells me to do. None of these things are evil, when they are done right they are all just more tools for doing God's work and enjoying the world that God made for us in the first place.
Now there are things that we make more important than God in our lives and those things are genuine issues, but don't let anyone make you feel like a sinner for living your life. We can all do better in some way, and we should, but that should never be taken to the extent that some people take it. Enjoy your lives and do all in your power to be a true follower of Christ. Pray often, and don't change into a different person when it is convenient, always put God first and everything will be okay.
Dedicated to making strong disciples of Christ.
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