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entertainment

Christian Life, young adults

Young Adult, Work Hard

October 24, 2016

 

 

Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
Proverbs 12:11

 

The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
2 Timothy 2:6

 

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
2 Thessalonians 3:6-10

 

If Jesus is your Lord you don’t get to come home to entertainment and leave dishes undone, your apartment a mess, your car piled with fast food garbage, and the like.

With a world of entertainment available to us at the push of a button or a few clicks of the mouse, it’s incredibly easy to coast through life doing the bare minimum amount of work. This is especially true for young adults in the stage of life where you’re living on your own, unmarried, without kids, and without any significant responsibilities. It’s so simple to work a job that pays the bills, come home each day and spend the evening (or afternoon or morning, depending on what your work shift is) watching tv or playing video games or fiddling around on some social media outlet.

I want to declare that if you’re a follower of Jesus that must not be your method of life.

Those who don’t work don’t eat

Paul’s word to the Thessalonians are harsh to our American ears. “Keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us…’The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’” Apparently to the apostle idleness is as significant a sin as adultery, since he also tells the Corinthians to do treat an adulterous person in a similar way (1 Cor. 5).

This ought to be a challenge to us, my friends. Are our lives marked by idleness? Do we spend more time relaxing and being entertained than we do being productive and serving others? There is a time for rest, but don’t forget that God set aside one day for sabbath and six days for work. As the wise writer of Proverbs declared, “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.” (12:11)
This truth goes beyond the physical reality. Though in his letter to the Thessalonians Paul is addressing people who are benefitting by eating physical food without working for it, the principle stands in a spiritual sense as well. Those who don’t “work their land” spiritually won’t eat and will have malnourished spirits. Those who sit by and expect others to provide the food for their spiritual selves will not grow.

Work like Jesus

Let’s stop chasing fantasies in movies, novels, and video games and instead be the hardworking farmer who follows the Master into the fields daily to sow, water, and reap. I want us, my brothers and sisters in Christ who are still young, to be able to say with the Apostle, “we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.”

Young adult, work hard. Let your life be a model for those who come after you. Work like Jesus, who gave his life to the labor that the Father had placed before him. Your reward will be riches that go far beyond this life and far outweigh the momentary pleasure of spending every evening being entertained.

 

 

Christian Life, Culture

The Age of Choice

April 6, 2015

A couple weeks ago Kelly and I sat down to watch a movie on a quiet Saturday night. We hadn’t settled on a specific movie to watch. No worries though, with a redbox less than a mile away, Amazon Prime and Hulu at our fingertips, and a large movie rental store maybe 3 miles away, we had plenty of options.

We pulled up Amazon Prime and started browsing, found a few movies that looked worthwhile, picked one, and settled in. For all of about 10 minutes. The movie wasn’t all that interesting. No problem. There were still others that had looked interesting, so we switched to another movie. 15 minutes in we were still dissatisfied. On to another movie, frustrated with the wasted time.

After about an hour of indecision and flipping between movies we gave up and went to bed unhappy. What had been set to be a nice night at home watching a movie turned into an hour cursed by the amazing breadth of choices we had in front of us, an increasingly common problem in our world with the growing list of options in every realm of life. Whether it be in the realm of entertainment or college degrees or churches or where to live, we have a massive amount of things to choose from. Technology has opened up a realm of possibilities and we’ve entered the age of choice paralyzation. Rather than picking one thing and sticking it through and enjoying it we’re almost constantly evaluating the option we’ve chosen against the ten other options that we can find pictures, blog posts, and videos of online.

I know several people who’ve added at least two years to their college career by switching majors two or more times because other options seemed more interesting. We begin attending a church and after a couple weeks start wondering what the other churches in town are like and end up hopping from one to another, never settling in. Our significant other is great for the moment, but we’re keeping our eyes open in case something better comes along. Sure, our lives are ok, but look at the lives that are out there on Pinterest and Instagram. Why can’t I have a house/family/job/car/fashion sense/body like that?

The first and biggest problem with our constant search for something new is the fact that it speaks loudly to the fact that we don’t believe God has a good purpose for where we are now.

Secondly, it kills the hope, joy, and peace that we are meant to have throughout all of life. The followers of Jesus are to be the most joyful people, at peace regardless of their circumstances and saying with the apostle Paul, “I have learned in all situations how to rejoice. ”

Thirdly, it prevents us from learning what God has given us to learn and growing up into the person that he wants us to be. Tying in to the first point, God has put you where you are now because he has something that will be for your good and his glory there. He wants you to learn and grow and become. We are to be like David, who served in his imprisonment with excellency rather than spending his days pondering what it would be like to be somewhere else. As a result of his focus and excellence he grew in character and was exalted by the Lord to the place of second in command in the nation .

Instead of always looking at the greener grass on the other side, lean into where God has you now, whether that be your job, schooling, relationship, or even the body he has given you. He has you there with a purpose that’s awesome. As you own that space with excellence and faithfulness he will lead you to open doors that will take you beyond what you had ever imagined for yourself.

Don’t waste your time. The Psalmist was right when he wrote that our lives are barely a breath. Don’t be like Kelly and I were on that Saturday night, digging ourselves into frustration rather than enjoying and being satisfied with what we had chosen. There’s joy in every situation, hope in every inch of your life, and peace anywhere that Jesus is (which is everywhere!). Lean in and watch the amazing happen.