Entertainment, Amusements, Fun-What Does God Say?
One of man's principal goals in life is happiness. Happiness can be elusive. Many are seeking happiness in pleasures and entertainment. They seek to satisfy themselves by doing what "feels good". What feels good may actually be detrimental to one's character and inner spiritual well-being.
Many people have come to believe that happiness can be found in having "more". It is believed that to have more goods and conveniences will satisfy. The hope is that by having more leisure time and more freedom for activities such as hobbies and sports, fulfillment can be found. The commercial system and the media exploit this belief to the fullest. It is suggested that their product or experience will do what others will not. Purchases are made that satisfy for only a short time. Traveling is done in hopes that something more genuinely lasting can be experienced. New vehicles, and more and better sporting equipment are sought and bought, but these invariably fail to bring real peace of mind.
In an effort to find satisfaction people seek something new, something impressive, even something violent or daring. Recreational parks are offering rides and adventures that reach for the limit in thrills and in testing the endurance of body and mind. The entertainment industry has responded to man's appetites with astounding results. Television, movies, radio, the Internet, magazines, and books abound with entertainment that is shameful, to say the least. Through these mediums the lustful and greedy desires of society are served. Many hours are spent watching, reading, and listening to material that is detrimental to the mind, the body, the soul, and consequently, the home.
Often entertainment is used as a means to escape the reality of the emptiness we feel inside. Lonely people seek something to console the inner man. What do we really want? What will really answer to the needs of the soul? Can it be found in these pleasures?
Besides the enjoyment we receive from these activities, there is in us an underlying desire to excel. The desire is there to surpass our peers, or the established standard. This desire is driving many to seek a name for themselves. The sports world is demanding, and getting, much money and attention. Men and women give the best part of their lives to this effort.
Many of these entertainments and activities are sought largely for our own pleasure and gratification. We are more concerned with what will benefit us than with what will benefit others. Much of the involvement in sports, other entertainment and activities, is motivated by selfishness. Personal success and pleasure is the unstated drive behind these widely accepted pastimes.
As this selfish drive is pursued the following happens: churches languish, welfare programs are left to governments, and the homeless may be fed but not cared for. Even more tragically, children are not finding the security of a stable home. People become dissatisfied with life which they find meaningless and empty. They find it harder and harder to talk about the things that really do matter. Selfish pleasures become substitutes for, and distractions from, what is missing deep in the inner being. God is left out of the picture.
The Soul Of Man Is Thirsty
Jesus said in John 4:10, 13 and 14, that He has water to give us that will quench our thirst perpetually! The deep need of the soul must be satisfied. The soul is eternal and will only be satisfied with eternal truths.
The Bible teaches that the Christian is a contented, happy person. It teaches that we find happiness only by seeking God's will first. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). Men seek happiness through selfish means, but neither fame nor fortune nor pleasure will ever provide more than momentary satisfaction.
Much of our restlessness is the result of uncertainty about our relationship with God. The question of sin, if it is unresolved in our life, affects our peace of mind and causes us to feel guilty. Sins taken to the Lord, whether great or small, can be dealt with permanently.
God has a plan for us whereby we are able to experience fulfillment. God would like to lead us to a complete submission to His will, resulting in a satisfaction and peace which supersedes all earthly enjoyments. The Bible plan, if followed, beautifully fills every need that we have.
The Bible teaches that we can have close fellowship with God. His word can be the meditation of our hearts. Peace can accompany us by day and by night. The Holy Spirit is to be our comfort and constant companion. This spiritual relationship with God is for anyone who is born again and willingly submits himself to Christ's guidance in every area of his life. This close fellowship with God inspires us to a life of service which is very rewarding.
The amusements offered by the world do not foster spiritual life. Activities, entertainment, and even thought patterns that are self-serving, are contrary to life in Christ Jesus. This is why the apostle John emphasizes, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in 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 (1 John 2:15-16). Paul, in Romans 8:5-7, teaches that the carnal mind is enmity against God. The carnal mind loves the things of the flesh rather than the things of God. The way of pleasure appears so good; however, it will replace the devotion that we need to have for God. We are warned that in the last days men shall be lovers of their own selves...lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:2-4).
The Bible has the answer for those who are seeking satisfaction in pleasure. Romans 12:1-2 reads, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The transforming of the mind and regeneration of the heart are essential if we are to please the Lord and make a right judgment of these matters. When viewed in the light of eternity, many amusements and entertainments are a serious misuse of our resources and lives.