Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Having Fun

Meditation for the week of September 19, 2010

Ecclesiastes 2:1 I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure"; but surely, this also was vanity.

Having fun doesn’t seem to be a good thing in the Bible, yet it seems to be the goal of our lives in our present society.  I like to ask my friends when we are supposed to be having fun, “Are we having fun yet?”  Many times we are searching for fun and it turns out to be anything but fun.  And even when fun is fun, Solomon, the preacher in Ecclesiastes, realized that fun left him as empty as if he were chasing the wind.

Belshazzar lost his kingdom during a drunken party one night in Daniel 5.  Vashti lost her position as Queen because of her husband’s drunken party in the first chapter of Esther.  John the Baptist lost his head because of Herod’s birthday party in Matthew 14.  Revelry and partying are the source of many sorrows in the Bible and are condemned.  Now I know that we often associate fun with good wholesome activities like family vacations and I am sure that the Lord would encourage such activities.  I believe that everyone needs to be able to look forward to something that they can enjoy every morning when they get up.  Life is not all about hitting yourself in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop. 

However, our God-given purpose in life is not to have fun.  Our purpose in life should be to glorify God and to serve Him.  Daniel took his life in his hands when he “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8).”  Daniel intended to remain separate from the idolatry of Babylon by avoiding food that had been offered to idols, and I am sure that his commitment to the Lord was not “fun” even though everything turned out well for him. 

Our purpose as Christians should be to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1).” A living sacrifice is going to require discipline.  It will be costly.  And while it will be satisfying and will have eternal benefits, it will not be fun. 

I have noticed that many of our Bible camp brochures, our Daily Vacation Bible Schools, many conferences and crusades all emphasize the “fun” that the participants are going to have.  This is particularly true if we are trying to encourage the younger generation to come.  If “fun” is the appeal, how are we going to teach the discipline and the sacrifice?  When are we going to be honest in preaching the Gospel that being a Christian is satisfying, but it is not always fun?  What kind of converts are we going to produce?

I have bad news for those preaching the Gospel and for those who are considering the claims of the Lord.  Being a Christian is not always easy and it certainly is not always fun.  Right now, there are people dying because of their faith in countries where cruel religions are practiced.  Often we lose friends, even Christian friends, if we have convictions about what it means to follow the Lord. 

But I also have good news for those preaching the Gospel and for those considering the claims of the Lord.  Looking for satisfaction in self-centered fun is like chasing the wind, but the good news is that the Christian’s rewards are eternal.  We have hope, that is we have something to look forward to after this life is over.  We have a purpose in life that satisfies.  The Psalmist says, “For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness (Psalm 107:9).”

Fun is way over rated.  It is fleeting.  It often involves sin, and it is all that unbelievers have to get themselves through life.  Glorifying our Creator and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, by believing in Him; and then worshiping Him by serving Him, is often not fun but is always satisfying.  And the rewards are out of this world. 

Bruce Collins


Comment by David Lindstrom

September 21, 2010 @ 8:12 am

Very good thoughts!

I was actually surprised, though, that there was no mention of the word “joy”–not that there needs to be, but joy is definitely associated with believers in the Scriptures, and is often confused with “fun,” I think.

Maybe I’ll take time to develop that further, but for now I’ll just leave this comment for people to consider.

Comment by Bruce

September 22, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

Joy is one of the things that we Christians have, and it doesn’t come from a bottle of booze. In a very well rounded meditation I probably would have included joy with one of the things that “satisfies”. But normally joy follows sorrow (I will turn your sorrow into joy) and is not the thing that is used to attract the unsaved to Christ. The prodigal son left to party and it cost him. He didn’t come back to find joy, he came back because he had spent all and knew his Father’s house would have food and shelter. But he got an extra benefit when he came back. He got a party filled with joy.

Thanks for your comments.

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