More on Shared Secret: Answering a Comment

Recently, the blog post Shared Secret, generated interest and more questions. Here’s a question we thought would make a great topic for a new post. Following it is my answer.

I concur with the idea that entertainment detracts from more useful application of one’s energy, especially since time can so easily slip away when you’re distracted. My question for you is whether there comes a point in time when one is too focused on serious pursuits, i.e. being a “work-a-holic”? How do you balance focused learning or on-task time with relaxing fellowship time? Erica

Hi Erica,

First, I’m not sure it follows that the opposite of loving entertainment is being a work-a-holic. It seems like there might be a subtle inference of that in your question. That aside, maybe there are some who become too focused on serious pursuits. However, our personal experience and observations of others is that the natural pull/tendency is toward wasting time, particularly through various forms of entertainment, versus too many serious pursuits.

For believers, Scripture sets an example of working six days and resting one. Thankfully, most don’t have to work six days to live, but Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 10:23 is important: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” Given available time, how can it be used to edify (build up) ourselves or others?

To spend time beneficially has become a guiding principle for our family. Serving, loving, and learning are foundational verbs in making time edifying. The following verse keeps everything in balance because it is easy for something to get out-of-balance, whether it be learning, resting, and even working. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

That verse means that our time is to be completely surrendered to our Lord Jesus. He may for a season shift time so that it is heavy in one area, maybe serving, or another time in loving someone in need. But if our time is under His direction, then we can have confidence the result will be good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

In Christ,
Steve

I’m so glad to have kids who are hard workers and jump right into a project.

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are
without, redeeming the time.”
Colossians 4:5

11 thoughts on “More on Shared Secret: Answering a Comment”

  1. I love your family!! I don’t personally know you all but I read your blog often I feel like I do know you all! I love how your family is close … In distance & relationship!

  2. Yes, the choice is not between “work” and “entertainment” but rather “God’s way” and “my way”.

    Workaholics and hedonists both “work iniquity” in God’s eyes.

    If we are purposeful in all we do (to worship and please God and do His will) He will guide us in any activity – learning, working, serving, ministry, spiritual fellowship to encourage others, time spent with children to keep their hearts etc.

  3. I agree – it is the Counsellor’s guidance which gives us understanding about how to order our days so as not to fall into either extreme of rest-aholic or work-aholic or any other area of self-indulgence or ignorance.

    I have found Teri’s teaching on how to make a schedule very useful particularly how she encourages prayer and careful consideration of things that are God’s will for our days; not overdoing things and not under-doing things. There is a lot of joy in doing His will and seeing what fruit it bears for others.

    I think of Ruth, how the Lord told us that she worked, and rested a little in the house, while she harvested with Boaz’s people. And Abraham, who was sitting in his tent door in the heat of the day when the three men came to him. And Paul, who worked with his own hands day and night so as not to be a burden to the church but to minister as God willed for him…

    Praise God for the focus and reliance on Jesus seen in the example set by the Maxwell family! We really appreciate the encouragement to persevere, “being careful to maintain good works” so as not to be sluggish or unfruitful.
    Keep looking to Him!

    Love
    Sarah

    1. It is certainly our desire to focus and rely on Jesus. We are delighted if that encourages you to focus and rely on Him.
      Blessings,
      Steve

  4. I think the commenter may have been confused about the definition of “entertainment”. There is certainly a difference between modern entertainment and wholesome family down-time that we enjoy after a full day’s work and on rest days. Playing boardgames, long walks in the woods, edifying books, family volleyball and soccer games, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries are all things we enjoy in this house. They serve to bring us together and live out God’s plan for happy, united families.

  5. I read your post.
    I also have a couple questions.

    What about things like horse jumping or dog training where you do like dog agility or dog obedience?
    Those are cultivating relationships with animals in your care and they are really fun and bonding to do.

    Secondly-

    What about playing things like soccer and baseball and swim team and recreational sports? I don’t get why your kids don’t do those kind of things?
    They build up confidence and team building and they are healthy for activity and you make friends. . .

    Thanks for your reply. I look forward to your opinion! 🙂

  6. Thank you for these recent practical “how to” style posts. They are very helpful and much appreciated! I believe the Bible shows us that as long as we are in fellowship with the Lord, seeking Him, in the Word daily and prayer fellowship, He will guide us and prevent an imbalance in any direction. “Let your moderation be known unto all men, the Lord is at hand,” Phil. 4:5. I appreciate the focus of your posts and articles because if history and the Bible and our present time is any indication, the flesh generally seeks to please itself, and I’ve been so encouraged and learned so much about ordering my days and activities around what will redeem the time wisely here on earth. Teri’s scheduling books and articles have shown how to work that out in a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly type of way. Thank you!

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