Worship While Having Fun

child playing soccer
photo by Markus Spiske

In this series of lessons, we’ve looked at what true worship is — that it is more than playing church when we come together to assemble. It is part of who we are everywhere we are. We’ve considered worshipful living while at work as well as in our home lives. We’ve looked at worshipful living in our school communities both as students and parents, and today we’ll be looking at worshipful living at something we might not usually consider – while engaged in our free time and while having fun.

A Life Meant to Be Enjoyed

Fun is an attitude, and the challenge is to keep a Christian attitude while having fun. This may be the most difficult time to stay Christ-like in our conduct. Hebrews 5:14 reminds us that we should have good discernment as mature Christians, even when entertaining ourselves. In the moment, we may not always do such a good job choosing between good and evil; we may be around people who are not the best influences; and we may give into peer pressure to prevent killing the fun.

God means for His people to enjoy their lives, and we see His people engaged in celebration and joy numerous times in the Old Testament. In the New, we even see Jesus’ first miracle taking place at a wedding celebration. To follow God is not to renounce the joy of this life. Ecclesiastes 11:8 calls on us to rejoice in the days in our lives. Verse 9 tells us to rejoice in our youth, and verse 10 calls on us to remove pain from our hearts. A joyless life will do nothing to bring others to Christ, and a joyless life is full of wasted opportunities to lift others up and to celebrate all God has given us.

Our Example in Recreation

We should be known by the example we set. We should have fun on our terms, rather than the terms of others. There are limits to the type of fun we should have, and when we engage in sin for entertainment, it takes away from our worshipful living. There is plenty of joy without sin, and Proverbs 13:9 tells us the light of our righteousness should always shine. I Peter 4:3-5 tells us we will give up some activities and some friends when we submit to following God, but we can be an example to them of joy without immorality.

So what do we do for fun? Who do we choose to be around? Do these choices reflect our Christian values? If someone will not be your friend because you abstain from sin, then you don’t need that influence in your life. They may think you are mean, a jerk, or a prude; but being a Christian is between you and God, not between you and them. Romans 12:1-2 calls on us to be living sacrifices. This means we won’t be like those around us. It means we won’t even be like our former selves. Philippians 1:10 admonishes us to keep ourselves spotless for Christ’s return.

Conclusion

We need to evaluate who we are when having fun. We have to define ourselves, our opinions of ourselves and our boundaries. We must refine ourselves, making sure our choices then reflect the definition we have of ourselves. Finally, once we define and refine ourselves, we must *be* ourselves. We are Christians no matter where we are; we must always be setting a Christian example to those around us; we need to make good choices about those we spend time with. As living sacrifices, we can succeed even while having fun if we decide how we will reflect Christ in the choices we make.

lesson by Mike Mahoney