Recreation is necessary for a well-balanced life, and righteous recreation for a Christian is not impossible to find. A decision about which activity we can do that will agree with our convictions should be based, just like so many of our other decisions, on biblical teaching. Paul emphasized that we should live “soberly, righteously, and godly” (Titus 2:12). That being the case, the following questions can guide us in our choices of enjoyable activities:
- Does it violate my parent’s upbringing? Godly parents who raise their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” will warn them of the dangers of ungodly recreation (Ephesians 6:1-4). If the recreation violates what they taught you, that’s a good indication you need to stay away.
- Is it legal? Romans 13:1-7 reveals that our choices in life should be limited to what is confined within the laws of the land. A lot of people, particularly younger ones, get a thrill from doing something illegal. The devoted follower of Christ will always respect civil authority.
- Will the activity violate my conscience? Paul said, “… for whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). What he meant is do not offend your conscience. Study your Bible to assure yourself that what you do will agree with God’s will.
- Is it work of the flesh? Galatians 5:19-21 details several sins that are unequivocally wrong, even if they are done for the purpose of being “fun.” One of those sins is “lewdness,” which condemns the highly-sexualized, vulgar movements found in most dancing today.
- Will it arouse the indecent? Reading books and online content, or streaming shows and movies which feed indecent thoughts is contrary to Christ. Paul said, “Whatever things are pure … meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
- Will my efforts at self-control be strengthened or weakened? Power or mastery over lustful desires is perhaps the greatest power a Christian can wield (1 Corinthians 9:27). Self-control needs to be practiced by every godly believer.
- Can I glorify God in my body while doing it? Paul taught that a Christian’s purpose on earth is to glorify God in their body and spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It’s impossible to glorify God in sexual sin.
- Will my doing it cause others to fail or stumble in their faith? One important principle of conduct is that I can’t lead a weaker or younger Christian away from Christ by my example (1 Corinthians 10:23-33). My light is incredibly valuable (Matthew 5:13-16), so I can never weaken my influence to please a sinful accomplice.
- Will this put me under an evil influence? First Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” You have to constantly be on guard so that you are not led into wrong practices by your friends.
- 10.Will it conflict with my duty? God and His church should be put first (Matthew 6:33). This is one of the most abiding propositions that a saint accepts when they put on Christ. If I’m not willing to accept righteous decision-making as a duty, then I’m not really a follower of Jesus.
- 11.If I do it, will it bring reproach on Christ or His church? One of the biggest turn-offs of people to religion is hypocrisy. People can easily see a discrepancy between your profession and your practice. The remedy is to live godly and sincerely (1 Peter 2:11-12).
I know there are a lot of principles involved in this list, but your careful deliberation will make you a holy person, an honorable influence, a devoted follower, and an eternal participant in God’s heavenly kingdom.
Adapted from Jerral Kay