Do you have any hobbies that you really enjoy in your free time?
Perhaps you like to watch movies or play computer games, or you’re a big fan of sports or music. Personally, I enjoy collecting action figures, LEGO sets, and comic books. I also like to spend time watching online entertainment reviews. All positive, fun hobbies.
But my hobbies can become a problem when I give them too much of my time. Sometimes, when I allow my hobbies to consume me, I put really important things like my family and my Christian faith on the back burner. I can forget what’s really important in life.
Can you relate?
Inviting God Into Our Hobbies
In the New Testament book of Luke, Jesus is approached by a rich man who asks Him what he must do to gain eternal life. Jesus tells the rich man to sell everything and follow Him. But the rich man walks away, dejected. He is so attached to his riches, that he can’t bear to give them away.
He can’t see that Jesus is trying to show him where he should be placing his primary commitment: on the things of heaven. Wealth is certainly appealing, but it is temporary. We can’t take it with us, and it sure won’t buy us an eternity with Jesus.
Our attachment to things (and even people), can cause us to give God only a fragment of our heart. I really enjoy my collections, but this story reminds me that my action figures, LEGO, and comics are just “stuff.” They are unimportant, compared to having Jesus in my life.
That’s not to say that hobbies are “bad,” or that God doesn’t purposely give us our interest in them. He may already have a plan in mind to use them as opportunities for people to hear about Jesus. Actually, this has happened in my life. My mom asked to use some of my LEGO as part of a Vacation Bible School (Christian summer camp for kids) lesson on how Jesus builds us up. How cool is that?
Setting Habits to Keep God Central
When we become Christians, God calls us to continually deepen our knowledge and faith, and to glorify Him in whatever we think, say, or do. But our schedules can get jam-packed to where we can become so busy with work and hobbies that we forget to carve out time to focus on God.
When I recognize that I’ve spent more time on my hobbies than thinking about God, I feel convicted. Fortunately, God doesn’t hold this against me. He always warmly welcomes me back to spending time with Him.
One tool that has helped me is setting a daily habit to read my Bible and pray. Talking about the Bible with my friends also helps to deepen my commitment to live for Jesus, as does my family’s weekly Bible study on Monday nights.
And when I see the need, I intentionally limit the amount of time I allow my hobbies. When I was younger, my parents sometimes made me put my LEGO sets away when they saw that I was becoming too absorbed with them. This didn’t make me happy at the time, of course. But now I see that their boundary helped me to see my need for balance.
I really enjoy my hobbies, and I expect to keep enjoying them. But I am fully committed to only one thing: Jesus. He wants to know and guide you and me, and He does so when we choose to pursue Him first in our lives.
Do you know Jesus yet? He is so worth putting first in our lives!