Football, Novels, and Puzzles

Monday, Nov. 30                                   

I need to clarify yesterday’s blog.  I may have inadvertently misled you.  I mentioned reading novels, watching football games, and doing cross word puzzles.  If you got the idea that those are evil or that we should not get involved in any of those, then I need to correct that.  The main point was that we are to be in the world, not of the world.  Everyone is concerned for what is going on in our world, from climate change to famines and wars, social and political issues, Fords and Chevrolets, urban blight and the cost of insurance.  If we are to live in the world, we need to be aware of what people are interested in, what concerns them, what their aspirations are, how they view life, and what their felt needs are.  In short, we need to “rub shoulders” with them, share with them the issues that we all face in this world.  Sports and leisure time are part of that.  How we as Christians deal with life is paramount in leading people to Christ.  Now, back to football games, novels, and puzzles.  There are two things involved here—quantity and quality.  Quantity:  reading a novel is not bad, but if we spend an inordinate amount of time reading novels, we are depriving ourselves of time that could be better put to use—both in feeding our souls and in meeting the needs of others, both believers and unbelievers.  Quality:  Watching a football game is not bad in itself, but watching TV shows that emphasize illicit sex and/or are  laced with filthy language is something else.  In that case, we are feeding on garbage, which will affect our spiritual lives.  The same would be true with the kind of novels we read.  So the quality of the things we do is just as important as the amount of time we spend on them.  So two things are at stake when we choose how to use our time—will it enhance our spiritual life, and will it prepare us for ministering to others?  How we use our time is important.  I hope this dispels the fog from yesterday.

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