As we continue our discussion about things in our world which may distract us from God, let us consider the idea of entertainment.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends $2,827 on entertainment annually. To put that in perspective, their findings also record that $2,979 is spent on healthcare. That means that the average American spends almost as much on entertainment as they do their own physical wellbeing and health. That is a very high amount.
Recreation and entertainment are valuable however. By using time away from work, stress, and other worries we are able to decompress emotional pressure and be ultimately more happy and productive. However, there is a need to maintain a proper balance in where we spend our time. If we want to keep our focus on spiritual things, we must understand the need to limit our time and expenses towards entertainment and recreation. If the bulk of our income goes to distraction from stress and our lives, is that the best use of the financial blessings God has given us?
In Matthew 25:14-30 the Bible records the parable of the talents. In this parable we find a Master leaving his wealth to three servants that are in his household. He invests this wealth with them that they can use it to bring back a profit while he is away. Two of the servants go and trade with the money and double the master’s initial investment. The third servant goes and buries the money until the master returns as to not lose any of the money. The two who bring back a profit are approved and given the lord’s approval and the third who was lazy with the master’s money was rebuked and chastened. The overall message of this parable from Jesus is that God gives us certain blessing to bring a return from His investment. There are many possible applications from this, but most obvious is the fact that God blesses us with the time of our lives and the money through employment to be used to bring glory to Him.
If we spend the majority of our time and resources on ourselves through entertainment and leisure, we are wasting an opportunity to bring glory to our Master. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for entertainment, recreation, and leisure but to not be distracted from God we must maintain balance.