It seems as though everyone is busy, hobbies, family, sports, activities, etc. Just look down my street on any given summer weekend and you’ll see kids playing yard to yard, folks going to-and-from youth soccer games, you can hear sports games on big-screen TVs from several garages, and someone will be firing up their Bar-B-Q. These are all good things, right?
Well, here’s the trick, these things are neither good nor bad, it’s the place that they hold in our lives. This same street is a ghost-town on Sunday mornings. I’ve noticed something in many of my Christian friends lives as well, what are the things that are most important to us? What should they be?
…For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
It’s not that our neighbors are good people who just need to improve their lives a little, they are darkness in need of the light. So, are we really the light for them? How are we different than them. Do we have the same interests and activities? Exactly the same? To the same degree? How is that possible if our number one goal is to follow Jesus? It shouldn’t be possible… it isn’t possible.
I know so many people who have encyclopedic knowledge of college sports, professional golf, NFL football, fishing and hunting equipment etc… and I can’t figure out how they have the time to invest in all these hobbies and yet they don’t have time to do anything more than simply attend church 2-3 times a month. Again, don’t get me wrong, these hobbies are neither good nor bad, but what’s most important to you?
I can understand how unbelievers have the time to spend hours upon hours watching sports games, analyzing statistics, listening to talk radio about sports, but how can someone who is actively involved in the advancement of the gospel through their local church find the time? I’m not saying we can’t enjoy these things, but I am saying we can’t enjoy them to the extreme degree that our neighbors who worship these things do. We can’t serve two masters.
What takes up our time?
Is it making disciples, or is it hobbies and selfish interests? Even our kid’s activities can distract us from worshiping the one true God. Do you have a rule that your children know they will never miss worship for a sporting event; or are you teaching your kids that if they have to choose, soccer/volleyball/baseball is more important than church?
Do you schedule your vacations around “holiday weekends” because you get Mondays off work, and it’s not a big deal to miss worship, but missing work is a bigger deal. Which is more important?
Here is my advice: Do not give up the things you enjoy, just do them for the glory of God. Do not abandon “real life” to become a monk, just adjust your priorities to show the world (as a light) that God is unquestionably number one in your life.
We are called to be different, if the most important thing in our lives isn’t the mission that God has called us to, then it might be time for some serious reflection. If we find that we have more in common with our lost neighbors and co-workers, we might want to reassess our priorities. If we regularly augment our “church schedule” to accommodate our “lifestyle” we really need to think about what we are seeking:
…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…