What Would Jesus Do… with regard to vacations, hobbies, sports, amusements, break-times, fun & relaxing activities? For the answer, we take a trip back 6,000 years…
Since Creation Week, God has taught that a scheduled, consistent period of rest is a good thing. God put down his paintbrush, He rested hands from forming and his tongue from filling. He ceased. He didn’t need the rest, yet that’s exactly what He did. He stopped and let the rest of His newly-formed creation continue around Him. An example was set forth as to the way man should live: balancing work and rest.
Two thousand years later, God commanded His people to set the 7th Day apart as sacred: a day with no work, one for physical rest and spiritual reflection. In addition, every 7th Year was set apart as special: fields would get to rest from their cultivation, and animals, too. Even more, every 7th of 7 Years (every 50th year), the Year of Jubilee, debts were forgiven and feasts were marked to celebrate and to remember. A command was given that men must work (and work hard), yet they also must make time for rest.
Two thousand years later, Christ came and fulfilled the Sabbath. He said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28) Two important principles are buried in this statement:
1. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Sabbath Day… in other words, the 7th day is a picture (a type) of what believers would receive in Jesus’ salvation. (“Let no man therefore judge you… in respect of an holy day… or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said… There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Colossians 2:16-17 / Hebrews 4:3, 9)
2. We are to use the Sabbath for our benefit. We are not to be confined by it, but blessed by it. The words of Christ speak regarding modern-day hobbies and refreshing pastimes… sports, games, breaks, vacations, etc. We should make time to enjoy them – we must! Some dads never take time to play a game of ball with friends or wrestle on the living-room rug with the kids. Some moms never schedule time for tea with their daughter or a picnic lunch with the family. When Jesus saw his disciples getting weary, He found them a boat so they could retreat from the crowds (Mark 6:30-32).
On the other hand, some people are consumed by fun and rest and hobbies. At no time should these things control us, we must control them. We should use our free time, our vacation days, our breaks – and not let them use us. To answer the question, ‘What Would Jesus do?’ – well, we know… He isn’t against hobbies, sports, amusements, break-times, fun & relaxing activities… unless we pursue them out-of-balance with our other time / work investments.
*NOTE: God’s not against fun, but He is against disobedience (sin)… so make sure that your fun doesn’t come at the price of doing the right things, at the right times, with the right people! [For example: Beaches & salt water aren’t wrong, in fact, they can be quite relaxing… but all the nakedness is sin, so be careful. Going to the lake with your family can be a blast – but you don’t always have to miss church to go. Buying things for enjoyment isn’t wrong… unless you use God’s money to do so.] Again, make sure your fun/comfort doesn’t cost you something greater in the long run.