"How Shall The Young Secure Their Hearts?"
CHOOSING OUR RECREATION
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!" We all recognize the need for recreation and entertainment. We need the diversion from our normal routines; the refreshment and relaxation that recreation provides. And to be honest about it, we all enjoy recreation and entertainment! With a good standard of living prevalent and much free time to spend, more and more time is being spent on leisurely activities.
What do we do for entertainment? Most young people decide that question on the basis of whatever they enjoy doing. If it is sports, or bowling, or going to a movie, then so be it. If it ig going to wild parties, dancing, drinking, or speeding around town showing off, then so be it. Let me suggest that much of the recreation of young people is ungodly. We, as God's children, hopefully concerned about right and wrong, need to be a little more discriminating in the kinds of leisurely activities that we engage in. The philosophy of, "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we get older and can't have any more fun" certainly misleads us into worldly amusements.
How can we decide what forms of recreation and entertainment we should and should not do? Easy! Just let the Bible be your guide! If you think that sounds a little simplistic, then I agree with you! It is not that easy! Indeed the Bible must be our guide in this matter (2 Tim.3:16-17), but the answers are not always so clear cut and easy. Oh, there are some things that the Bible specifically condemns, like unmarried sex, drinking, using drugs, etc. (Gal.5:19-21). But most of you would recognize that these things are wrong. If you do them, it is in willful violation of God's word, and you knew that at the time.
But let us remember that the Bible is a book of principles. Everything is not spelled out in "thou shalt nots. " Specifics of sin may change with different cultures, but principles can always apply. The key is getting your heart right! Be truly concerned about righteousness and serving God. If you do, then you can take the principles of the Scriptures and have little trouble in determining what you should and should not do. Here are some guidelines to help you.
Is it a form of evil? (1 Thess.5:22)
Is it illegal? (Rom.13:1-7)
Is it physically harmful? (1 Cor.6:19-20)
Will it hurt my Influence? (Rom.14:21; 1 Tim.4:12)
Does it gain control of me? (1 Cor.6:12)
Will it create lust? (James 1:14; 1 Jn.2:16)
Will it violate my conscience? (Rom.14:23)
Will it associate me with evil? (Eph.5:11)
Young people, don't play with fire! Much recreation is really "wreck-reation" for it wrecks and ruins the lives of those who involve themselves in it. Learn these principles. Seek to apply them. The key is in recognizing that Christianity effects every phase of your life, right down to what you do for recreation and entertainment. Be concerned enough about going to heaven to let the principles of God guide you, not just "whatever feels good, do it!"
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 17, p. 520