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This discussion provides guidelines whereby any recreational activity can be shown to be either an advisable or inadvisable activity for a Christian . The problem is not just to find something to do, but to find suitable recreation in which Christians may engage. Many varied activities are suitable. A list of about 100 different recreational activities, suitable for Christian young people was compiled on a Christian college campus recently. Included were games, sports, social activities, music, arts, crafts, drama, nature study, linguistic studies, collecting and service activities.
Recreation is necessary for a well-balanced life. Mental health authorities say that balanced living includes work, recreation, companionship, and religion. Time and energy should be apportioned to each of these. Many things present themselves invitingly. You must make a decision about them according to your convictions, and Christians should base their convictions upon biblical teaching or principle.
The following twelve principles can guide you in everyday living as a Christian:
1. Will this activity violate my conscience? Refer-to the book of Romans 14:22,23. If you offend your conscience because you do something without faith, to you it is sin. Study your Bible to assure yourself that what you do is in accord with God's will.
2. Will my doing it cause others to fail, or stumble, in their faith? See I Corinthians 10:23-33. Though one having strong faith may participate in an activity without offending his own conscience, he must consider the conscience of another who does not have the same knowledge and faith. Do not risk leading a weaker, or younger Christian away from Christ by your example.
3. Can I glorify God in my body while doing it? Reference: I Corinthians 6:19,20. Man's purpose on earth is to glorify God. Christians know that their bodies belong to Christ.
4. Will this put me under evil influence? Read I Thessalonians 5:21,22. You must be constantly on guard so that you are not led into wrong practices by your friends. If you think you have strong enough faith to resist temptation, take heed, lest you fall. Read I Corinthians 10:12.
5. Will it conflict with my duty? Read Matthew 6:33. Put God and his kingdom first.
6. If I do it, will it bring reproach on Christ or His Church? Reference: I Peter 4:14-16. Reproach may fall on you because you are a Christian, but you should never bring reproach upon Christ because you behave hypocritically.
7. Will my efforts at self-control be strengthened or weakened? See I Corinthians 9:27. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit of God which dwells within Christians. See Galatians 5:22-24. Self-control can be learned. It needs to be practiced.
8. Is it work of the flesh? Read Galatians 5:19-21. One may know what is right, but in a moment of temptation, he may fail. The Spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak.
9. Will it arouse the indecent? Philippians 4:8. Reading books and magazines or viewing television and movies, which create indecent desires is contrary to Christianity. Paul said, "Whatsoever things are pure . . . think on these things".
10. Will this weaken my influence as a Christian? I Corinthians 10:33. Never violate your own conscience to please a sinful associate.
11. Is it legal and right? Study Romans 12 and 13. You should respect the rights of others and the law of the land. Do not try to overcome evil with evil. The civil laws are to protect you. Ephesians 6:1-4.
12. Does it violate my parent's wishes? Ephesians 6:1-4. There are young people who would still have their health, and others who are dead who would be alive today, had they listened to their parents whom they considered "square".
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