rebelling against low expectations

How should Christians approach video games?


JACKSON WRITES:How should Christians approach video games? As an 18-year-old with a Playstation 4, I constantly find myself hooked on it, using most of my spare time playing video games much to the dislike of family and friends. How can I think about (and use) video games in a godlier way?

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  • Ok, so I know a lot of people like playing video games. I’m not saying they’re “bad” but aren’t they kind of wasting your time? I mean, unless you’re playing it with your family, its not strengthening relationships (and most of the time when my family is playing them we end up fighting) and its not adding to your knowledge or improving yourself. In 1 Corinthians 10:31 Paul writes “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” How is playing video games glorifying to God? If Jesus came back right now and you were playing video games, how would you feel?
    Much love

    • I never thought of it like that. And when i play I usually play games that are not glorifying to God so this gives me new perspective on how to approach my down time activites.

  • I have to kind of agree with Hannah on this one. Recently I have had to really rethink the things that I am spending my time on. Even things that aren’t necessarily “bad”, like Youtube (Blimey Cow!), TV shows, movies, even some books, are just not the “best” use of my time. Sometimes we aren’t faced with choosing between good things and bad things, but choosing between good things and better things. Maybe video games is something that you enjoy, but it has become an idol before the Lord. Maybe not. I don’t know your situation, but it is usually a good clue when people that do know you well (i.e. friends and family) are complaining about the time that you pour into video games.

    If you do decide that video games are not a healthy or productive use of your time, I would suggest completely getting rid of the playstation. I had to do this for myself so that I wouldn’t revert back to Youtube and TV shows when I was bored, trying to distract myself, or just trying to avoid something that I needed to do. Luckily, I was able to completely block access to youtube and the websites that were distracting using a program called WasteNoTime. I have been so pleased with the result. Even though I still love to watch TV shows, I know that I am unable to do it in a manageable way (same for Youtube), therefore I just cannot have the luxury of access. Anyway, just some tips!

    • I have struggled with this as well. I agree that most of the times we have to choose between good things and better things. How did you get the program called WasteNoTime? That might be something that would really help me.

    • Thank You so much for your input. I agree that they can be a waste of my time as well but can be beneficial in some ways. I know that how i go about it now is not pleasing to God. I play alot with my friends and maybe should just limit it to that.

      • No problem! I obviously don’t know your situation well enough to make that call, I was just pulling from my situation/life. 😀 I think it definitely wise to be very honest with yourself about the pros and cons of videos games, and then make your priorities reflect that.

        • Also i think once i get started with school if it gets to where its an issue where im on it more than i do what needs to get done then ill put it away until the weekend or so

  • Hey Jackson! I think we can all relate to a certain point in our lives when we got a little too obsessed with something and spent to much time on it. Unless you are extremely addicted to the playstation or if it is an idol and therefore getting in the way of your relationship with Christ I do not think completely throwing it out is the best choice. If that’s what your parents want you to do than, yes, you should honor them. But, we have to practice balance in our lives and responsibly use the things we are given. I would recommend setting a certain reasonable amount of time in the week and boundaries of when you can play. Your parents or a trustworthy friend could be your accountability. Also you could use it as an initiative to get other things done first, aka homework/chores should be done first and then I can spend this___ amount of time playing. Recently, in my family we got our Wii replaced so we can play games on it again. I have found that this is a good way for me and my little sister to spend time together. Since I’ve gotten older playing Polly Pockets or Little Pet Shops isn’t really my thing but video games is something we both can do and have fun together. Just yesterday we were playing Indiana Jones and cracking each other up playing on the Wii. Maybe this is something you can do with your siblings and friends to strengthen your relationships? Strengthening relationships is defiantly something that we can add to our knowledge and improve ourselves with. Anything we do can be used to glorify God it doesn’t matter if it is video games or homework!

  • Hello Jackson! I think it is great that you are seeking out Godly perspective on this. I feel like a lot of people have already touched on some great points. I also think it is great that people have touched on the points of respecting your parent’s wishes, putting your priorities first, and glorifying God in all you do. I think Haven is right when she states it may not be beneficial to throw it out all together. I have often found myself in the same position as you, and I have went months without playing for that reason. There are seasons to everything. There are busy seasons where God has more plans for us than we can imagine, and there are seasons where we are meant to relax. Personally, video games can be relaxing for me. As you only know where your walk with God is, I would like to encourage you to listen for God in regards to the seasons you are in. I’d also like to throw out there that there are some wonderful Christian gamer groups that are out there. I strongly dislike playing online games because of the negative and inappropriate people that were on them, but in a Christian clan, there is a lot of supporting one another and lifting each other up in prayer. There has even been accountability when needed. If interested, look up CGP4 on Facebook. God bless you!

  • I don’t play video games, but I’m kind of obsessed with Youtube. Even though I’m not watching inappropriate videos–I watch lots of Christian channels actually–I sit down to watch one little three-minute clip and the next thing I know an hour has passed. This school year I’m really trying to set limits on Youtube–deleting the app off of my phone (if I use it for music while doing school, I will inevitably end up watching something else haha), using it as motivation (after I finish this assignment, I can watch this video), or going cold turkey for a couple of days (which is HARD, not gonna lie. Today I set myself a limit of 15 minutes of Youtube videos, and it was gone by 10 AM haha…I did it, and I won’t do any more tonight, but I’m thinking about it haha ugh). It has such a huge negative impact on my productivity. So basically, I don’t have a great answer here because I am working through the same thing myself–but I’ll be praying that God will give both of us the self-control and discipline we need to put away the Playstation or Youtube videos and do something a little more productive!

    • Thats like me with games. Even when im not home on my Playstation ill just play on my phone. Ill just have to delete my games on my phone but it will definitely be worth it in the long run. Ill definitely pray God gives both self control as well.

  • Like anything, if it comes between you and God, it needs to go or be diminished. Accountability partners are the bomb. You could place a sign on your ps that reminds you to steward your time wisely. You could read a passage in the bible everytime you play.

  • Live for God by growing in the Word (the bible), loving the church, fighting your sin, and sharing the gospel with unbelievers. Then, let your enjoyment of video games fall under that main goal.

    If your Playstation or anything else distracts from that goal, kill it. Maybe set a time limit or drop it all togther, I don’t know, but look for ways to redeem that time and use it for something better.

    One last thing, all lot of people have said to use it as reward to motivate yourself, and while that might work I think it’ll be really hard to be motivated by something, but not live for it and make it an idol.

    These are just a few quick thoughts but hopefully they help a bit.

  • I totally agree with @disqus_xRVjr8iDnt:disqus
    If it takes time away from things that really matter in life like building relationships with friends and family members and even God, you need to put a time limit on it. I also love the idea of reading a chapter of the Scriptures for every game/level/hour you play.
    Just remember that in the long run, God, family, and friends are the only things that will really matter when its all over. 🙂

  • I can definitely relate to you. First of all, set yourself a time limit. Many places say two hours at most. Another thing is to run all your games by your parents, or like @disqus_xRVjr8iDnt:disqus said, a accountability partner. And this doesn’t just mean the games you own, but also games your friends have that you play together.

  • There is a really good article that I read online that talks about video games, one of the things they said that I found interesting was that most video games are purposely designed to be extremely addictive, some times more addictive then heroin (mind craft was one of them)

  • This is something I have a problem with to. Right now I’m actually banned from video games, movies, and basically almost anything with a screen. I can watch with my fam though. The thing about screens for me though is that it like takes over my mind. I know that sounds kinda weird but it’s true. I end up thinking about whatever is on the screen almost all the time. My dad said it’s like I’m a different guy now that I’m banned. It’s is a GREAT idea to set a timer for the times that you play, because video games do not respect your time at all. Keeping yourself away from indulgence is the goal. Now that I think about it, it’s basically an attack from the enemy. For instance, It’s been really easy for me to worship during this break from video games and movies. Video games and movies are very captivating to me, especially because i have a very addictive personality (Its because I was made to see the glory of God, btw). My tip would be to keep Jesus at the center. I know it’s cliche, but its only cliche because it’s important. Know that Jesus is better than (fill in the blank). Personally it helps to look at Jesus at my friend, not only as God (because He is) but that fact that God is my friend is very impactful to me and helps me know Him better. Hope this helps y’all!

  • I kind of have that problem too, but my best advice about when you’re playing(using) video games is: if the game has swearing, mute it. that’s the best advice I have.

  • I’m 13, and haven’t played a video game in 5 years and haven’t watched a movie in 4. Its been so long now that I don’t even miss it! It gives me more time to do other things that are more beneficial. I have been able to earn $2000 in the past two years by using the my time to work instead of playing video games. I think Christians should be doing something to glorify God instead of sitting in front of a screen for hours. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit within you. Video games have a very bad effect on the body/brain. Can this be taking good care of our bodies which we are to treat as the temple of God? Many of the people who play video games say that it can easily become an idol. Technology in and of itself is not bad, but how we use it can be. Something that really helped me was watching a documentary called ‘Captivated’. I would highly recommend it to anyone! There is a trailer for it on Twenty years from now I don’t think I will look back and say, “Gee, I sure wish I would have played more video games!” I hope this helps!

rebelling against low expectations

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