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.

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3 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday

  1. Very well put. Thought provoking for certain. Thank You.

    My church has brought up this point. We need to show we are joy-full. Too many Christians walk around with a hang-dog look. They display for all to see the ” pious suffering” they are going through.The Bible teaches us to smile, wash our face and step out happily ( Matthew 6;18) even when fasting or going through trials. If we don’t let the world see there is happiness and joy in being a child of God, why would they want to be part of it?

    But, we do need to careful. As the old saying goes ” You may be the only Bible someone reads”.

  2. Thanks for the wisdom. Relationship with God is not legalistic. It is personal. There are limits to our participation in life, but not so ridgid that we have to be on a guilt trip all the time. Thanks for reminding me of it again.

  3. Thank you, you put it into words so well. This morning I was reading/studying Daniel chapter 6, and I was bothered by the question in my mind about how many of us would seriously be in trouble if there was a law put out about not praying to our God. How many professed Christians would actually be safe?

    And I have always hated the phrase about being so heavenly minded we’re no earthly good….when in fact, I find the truth to always be the opposite!!

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