God loves gamers.
Gaming is not something you have to quit to find God. It’s not an ultimatum: IF you love God, THEN you’ll quit gaming.
God loves gamers. Loves us enough to set his safety aside and be a sacrifice for us.
I’m not talking about the “good” gamers who only play “Christian” games. He’s ALREADY died for every pissed-off, foul-mouthed, angry, lonely, bitter, DOTA 2 playing, internet trolling one of us! (that is my paraphrase. The real version is here: Romans 5:8)
As a matter of fact he hardwired into us many of the things we love about games:
- A desire for purpose
- The fancy freakin’ graphics
- A need for community and relationship
- An thirst for adventure
- Inspiration to create
- Joy in beauty
- A competitive outlet
- Fascination with the small stuff (How many of us have ever been blown away at the sheer beatify of a scene in a game? Even if it did include an explosion or two. He made those too! Just look at a star: it’s a constant, continuous, colorful explosion!)
It’s His creative design in us that draws us into many of the amazing aspects of video games. Yet there are times when we aren’t healthy with our gaming. The gaming may not be the problem, but our hearts might be.
After all, God created the “forbidden” fruit in the garden, didn’t he?
God created us in His likeness for relationship with HIM. (Gen. 1:26-27, Gen. 3:8) We weren’t created as robots. The tree was given as a choice. There can’t be love without choice, and there can’t be choice without an opportunity to fail. The tree was that opportunity.
The real problem with the tree wasn’t the “forbidden fruit”, it was the godlike choice. Who would they trust? God or their own judgement? They saw the fruit was pretty to look at and good for nourishment. They REASONED their way into rebellion.
Don’t we do the same? What are some reasons you’ve heard for people continuing their unhealthy gaming habits?
- These people are my friends.
- Gaming helps me unwind.
- This is my ministry: Reaching the gaming world through gaming.
- I’m going to be a professional gamer / game developer.
- At least I’m only gaming – I could be…(doing drugs, getting people pregnant, looking at porn, whatever other behavior they feel they’re avoiding while gaming, etc).
- They’re more fun than real life. I’m happy when I play games.
- I wouldn’t have to game so much if you were more: available / understanding / open / thoughtful / sensitive / encouraging / supportive…
We REASON with ourselves to justify what we want to do.
Please note: NONE of these reasons change the fact the behavior is unhealthy. What’s unhealthy gaming? I’ve written in another post about How to Spot Addictive Gaming and compiled a list of 13 Signs of Gaming Addiction.
Paul put it this way: We need to worship the Creator, not the created things (Romans 1:25).
That challenge holds true today: Do we seek God for our satisfaction? Do we trust Jesus when he says “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”?
Or do we say that we need Jesus and…?
Will we act as though we need God’s salvation AND a really shiny apple?
God loves gamers. He created each of us to seek Him.
My pastor, Rob Mayer, stated it this way: We worship with our attention. We know something is important in our life, is venerated and respected, when it gets special amounts of attention in our actions and in our hearts.
In the garden Adam and Eve must have stared at that tree a long time. It’s a GARDEN! What the heck are they doing just sitting next to the ONE TREE they aren’t supposed to eat from?
My guess? Probably worshiping. Probably checking it out, trying to see if it looks good. It did. By their reasoning: useful + pretty + gain wisdom = go for it!
Yet who did they trust with that decision? Were they seeking satisfaction in trusting God, or in themselves?
It can be a sport, a television show, a person, an item, a car, an art piece, a job, a video game. We worship with our attention and actions.
God loves gamers and can use us to make incredible change for His kingdom.
It’s our job to trust His judgement, because choosing video games over his call is simply worshiping ourselves and we make crappy gods.
Fortunately for us, God loves gamers.