“Lovers of pleasure — rather than lovers of God; having a form of godliness — but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:4-5
Is the love of pleasure and amusement growing on you — gaining the power and authority over you? Is it dulling the keenness of your zest for spiritual pleasures? Is it making Bible study, prayer, communion with Christ, and meditation upon holy themes — less sweet enjoyments than they once were? Is it making your hunger for righteousness, and for God — less intense? Is it interfering with the comfort and blessing which you used to find in church services, or in Christ’s work?
If so, there is only one thing to do — hurry to return to God, to abandon the pleasure or amusement which is imperiling your soul, and to find in Christ, the joy which the world cannot give, and which never harms any aspect of life.
We must test all our pleasures and amusements by this rule: Are they helping us to grow into Christ-likeness and spiritual beauty?
“All things are lawful — but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful — but not all things edify.” 1 Corinthians 10:23
Amusements are proper, only so far as they make us better Christians. Whenever they become hindrances to us in our Christian living, or in our progress in sanctification — they are harmful, no matter how innocent they may be in themselves.
Amusements affect your spiritual life and influence you. They may provide great pleasure but what is their influence on you as a Christian? Are they a means of grace or are they making you careless regarding Christ, and hindering your advancement in spirituality? We ought to be honest enough with ourselves to answer these questions truthfully, and then act accordingly.
J.R. Miller was a pastor and former editorial superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication from 1880 to 1911. His works are now in the public domain.