There is a country music song that has as part of the lyrics, “You can never have too much fun”. While I enjoy fun and recreation as much as the next person, I realize the old adage is true, “There is a time for work and a time for play.” Yet I wonder if we as Christians display more of the first attitude than the second in our worship to God.
Do we place more emphasis on activities which have no spiritual benefit, than we do upon service to God?
The apostle Paul while describing to the Ephesians the walk of the child of God says in Ephesians 5:15 “Therefore be careful how you walk not as unwise men but as wise.” (NASB) The Revised Standard Version (RSV) says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,” Paul is telling us that we need to be careful how we live our lives on this earth. Certainly that would include the way we treat our neighbors, as well as how we treat the word of God. But on the practical side, does it not speak to otherwise wholesome activities in which we can become entangled as people living on earth?
For example, the Bible makes it clear that we are to work in order to support ourselves, as well as be able to give to others who are in need. But what does God say to the individual who takes that too far and spends every waking hour at the office or on the phone and neglects his family responsibilities? Or what does God say to the wife who concerns herself so much with the physical affairs of the family that she fails to give diligence to the word of God. What does God say to the teenager who becomes so involved in school either completing the research papers or soccer practice and games that they are never in attendance at the assembly of God’s people? Can there be too much of a good thing?
Jesus speaks on this important subject in his sermon on the mount as recorded for us in Mathew 6:24-34. It seems that Jesus describes individuals who consume themselves with clothing and food and houses that they are leaving out the search for the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Jesus not only condemns the problem of worry, but the problem of misplaced priorities. The point is made that when we place God first in our lives, really put him first not just say that he is first, we will have no need to overly concern ourselves with the things of this life because God will take care of us. Does that mean we may need to adjust our work schedule for the cause of the Lord? Does that mean we may need to adjust our eating or sleeping habits in order to put God first? Does that mean we may need to scale down some of our activities so that we can be diligent servants for God? Yes indeed!
What congregation would hire a preacher who spends every other Sunday morning out on the lake fishing and on the golf course on Wednesday afternoons? I know of no congregation that would hire such a man; however, how many congregations see nothing amiss when members frequently fail to attend bible study or worship services to God, because of their own desires and activities.
Is there too much of a good thing? Absolutely; especially when it interferes with our service to God and our walk as children of God.