I read a devotional this week by Charles Spurgeon that said we as Christians are to totally separate ourselves from the world. Without compromise. We can’t say we are of God, yet participate in worldy “fun.” I thought about that a lot yesterday while I was at a movie that wouldn’t exactly make the “religious” section at the video store. Did I enjoy the movie? Yep. Do I think that was wrong? …. *cricket-cricket*
I don’t think I’m overstating to say that this has to be one of a Christian’s greatest dilemmas. Just how much IN the world are we supposed to be? According to Spurgeon – not at all. The Bible tells us to not be OF the world. Then we are chastised by the church for being “so heavenly minded we’re no earthly good.” Isn’t that saying that I’m too much NOT in the world?
What’s a Christian to think? Where is the line? I’m still pondering this. But here are some things I have come to:
We are told in the Bible to keep our mind on Christ and to remember that this is not our home. Therefore, I don’t think it’s actually possible to be so heavenly minded to be no earthly good. I think the more we have our mind where it belongs, the more happy and effective we’ll be here.
I also think God made this world and made it for us. Therefore, it must make Him happy when we enjoy it. No, I’m not saying God made movies. Holy cow, what a thought. But I don’t think he plopped us down in His creation and effectively said, “There. Now don’t have fun.”
I’m just as certain that God wants us to have appropriate fun. Jesus was at a wedding – one of the biggest parties of his day – when he performed his first miracle. And it was to provide refreshment for the party-goers. Did Jesus get drunk? Good heavens, no. But he WAS at the party and no doubt enjoying himself.
So where’s the line? I’ve come to believe there is no line. If we as God’s children have our minds set on Him, and are living with Him moment by moment, then wherever we are, and whatever we’re doing, we’re including Him in it and He’s tempering our thoughts and our actions, helping us keep it all in perspective, and – most important, perhaps – warning us to get out when we’re where we ought not to be.
When we are walking with God, then His presence is ever felt and it’s easier to stay on track. The warning signs to heed are when, at the end of a “fun” day, I find myself thinking, Did I invite God into my day today? Did I spend as much time with Him as I did with the rest of the world? If I have to ask, the answer is pretty sure to be “no.”
So I have to keep my tank full, so to speak. God demands to be our top priority and promises to never let us down. I know that in my greatest times of intimacy with Him, when I find myself where I ought not to be, my connection with Him makes it possible for me to leave the room without ever leaving the room. So perhaps I’m closer to Spurgeon’s thinking than I thought I was.