One of the things I struggle with is rest and recreation. After a long day’s work, what should I do to unwind? Often, I would scroll through social media or watch anime. On most days, I end up spending 2-3 hours on Facebook. Then, I look at my watch and realize that I wasted so much time! My soul isn’t restored. My emotional tank isn’t filled to face tomorrow’s challenges.
WASTEFUL AND EVIL RECREATION
On some days, I end up being led to worse things. If I let social media or the internet drive my entertainment, then I will find myself being exposed to one of these:
- Blasphemous materials. These are likely memes that make light of weighty things like God, His Word, and the Christian life. They could also be random videos that use God’s name in vain or make Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, a comedic subject. Then, there are those contents that undermine the very notion of right and wrong that Scripture presents.
- Pornographic materials. CS Lewis accurately captures the ethos today: “we grow up surrounded by propaganda in favour of unchastity” – from photos on social media, to ads-of-products-that-have-nothing-to-do-about-sex-but-still-feature-scantily-clad-women, and that sex scene in the Netflix series I’m watching.
And neither of these two are light when it comes to the impact they have on our soul. We must have alternatives.
HOLY AND PURPOSEFUL RECREATION
Of course, I can read Christian literature (fill my mind with the things of God), fellowship with other believers (edify other believers – even online), journal (organize my thoughts and examine my life), pray (commune with God), and sleep (get the God-ordained 6-8 hours of sleep every night). But before any of that, I need to ask: What makes up holy and purposeful recreation?
First, holy and purposeful recreation should make me enjoy the world as God designed it. I should have a sense of awe and wonder. Second, this should help me understand my Father’s world. I should have a sense that it is good to do what is right, to hope in God, and to live in accordance to his will. Third, this should make me more aware of God’s presence in my life. I should be driven to prayer and to live Coram Deo. Fourth, this should help me reflect God better to others. I should be more loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, patient, and self-controlled after this activity.
Fifth, this should prod me to hate sin and unrighteousness more. I should be walking away rejecting counterfeit joys because I have come to taste a little more of genuine joy. Least of all, it should not cause harm to my body – but rejuvenate and strengthen it instead.
REST AND RECREATION CAPTIVE TO CHRIST
If Paul says, “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5) then, we ought to take even our rest and recreation captive to Christ. So I end this piece with an exhortation for myself and for you who are reading this blog: Christ is Lord of all – even of our rest and recreation.
Let us examine whether our rest and recreation glorifies Him. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, let’s “be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” (Rom. 12:2) even as we engage in rest and recreation.