A few weeks ago, a fifteen-year-old boy from Columbus, Ohio collapsed from dehydration and exhaustion. His fatigue wasn’t due to what you might think. He hadn’t been working excessive overtime at his summer job. He hadn’t been irresponsible at a friend’s back to school party. The boy had been playing video games on an Xbox for over four days straight. Fearing for his health, the boy’s mother took him to the hospital and confiscated the Xbox.
Most of us would agree that there is nothing wrong with video games or an Xbox. Games can be a fun way to relax and spend time with friends. We can also agree that playing video games to the point of dehydration and exhaustion is unhealthy. It is an abuse of what should be a blessing.
We all share that boy’s proclivity to sabotage things that are meant as blessings. God has given us wonderful things like food, homes, jobs, relationships, and on, and on. We twist and abuse those good things to the point that they hurt us. We don’t just enjoy food, but overeat until we have health problems. We don’t appreciate homes as a place we live, but obsess about the status our address gives us. We don’t enjoy our work as an opportunity for creativity, but sell excessive amounts of our time to the highest bidder. Humans often twist and abuse blessings to the point that they are dangerous.
The Apostle Paul understood this about humans. He encouraged early Christians to avoid the abuse of blessings and, as an alternative, enjoy them as God intended. Paul wrote, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Paul suggests that the freedom to enjoy God’s blessings should not lead to sin, but love.
As you go through the coming week, see how you might enjoy good things for God’s glory. Look for activities you enjoy and see how they might be freed from abuse. Honor God with the good things He has given. That way, you can take pleasure in the blessings of life including the XBox.