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Are You Having Fun Yet?

Some of my boys use to pray that they had a fun day.
I would cringe. Not that I didn’t want them to enjoy their day, but there was more to life than pursuing fun.
But they aren’t the only ones who want fun every day. People work to have a fun weekend. To hear the advertisements: “Grab all the gusto.”  They seek pleasure. We are a culture seeking entertainment. We want fun.

Fun is not wrong in itself, but it is the emphasis of that above all else that is concerning. We have become addicted to pursing fun.

Jesus warns us of this. “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity” Luke 8:14.

King Solomon, the wisest man on earth, sought the meaning of life. He pursued pleasure. Here’s what he said, “All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity (emptiness, worthlessness) and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:10-11.

Seeking fun didn’t satisfy.
What happens when we’re addicted?
My husband recently returned from an army conference about managing addictions.
Recent studies report:  Addicts lost their ability to experience pleasure, whether alcohol, drugs, gambling, shop-a-holics, gamers, pornography or other addicting behaviors.

The drug addict tries it once, and for the rest of his drug-pursuing life he tries to “recreate” the euphoria from his first experience. He can’t. He will never get that same “high.”  But he tries.

A person can become addicted from his first use of drugs, prescription or illegal, including alcohol. Medical studies now show what Alcoholics Anonymous has known for decades. There are two types of alcoholics: those who become addicted after their first drink and those who become addicted over many years.

The initial enjoyment loses its power to please.
They must do more or have a stronger dose. They are no longer pleased with just a drink, or a look, or one game. Their mind becomes consumed with the next time. The person doesn't receive pleasure from his substance, but must continue to maintain or stave off the cravings. They lose brain receptors that allow them to experience pleasure.
They change their work schedule and drink their energy drinks so they can play their games longer, even without sleep. Soon, they find reasons why they can’t work. Since it doesn’t give the same thrill, they must get another game.
They are consumed, but not pleased.
These actions, at first willful, become a habit that creates grooves in their brains that “cement” their behavior, making it harder to do anything else.
The Bible predicts this action. “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7a.
They chase after a game, instead of living their life. “She who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives” I Timothy 2:6.

Their emotional development will stop at the age when these addictive behaviors started.
Because drugs replace learning through the stress, their emotional development doesn’t advance. When a person starts drugs at 12, they stay childlike.  Many programs to help addicts require regimented schedules and structured activities, because they can’t have “free time” or they will fall back into their addiction. They are like children, unable to deal with too many choices or be disciplined.

Studies show this addictive behavior changes the way people think.
They no longer “think” logically.
Science has finally caught up with the Bible.
His “foolish heart is darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” Romans 1:21-25.

Man continues to do what he wants. Only now, he does it, not because he wants to, but because he must. The act consumes him. He is a slave to it. And his mind changes.
He convinces himself, "Marijuana is good for him." When a little does him good, a lot does him better.

God turns them over to their actions. And by their own actions, they are destroyed.
It’s the story of Judges, every man did what was right in his own eyes.

Why do I mention this?

Children are becoming addicts, not of drugs, or alcohol, although that continues to be a parental concern, but of computer games.
We think it is good for them to learn how to use technology, and it is. We are told they learn coordination. And they can.
But it is BEST?
As parents, we must actively be involved in what our children see, hear, play, and do.
We are to “train up a child in the way he should go” Proverbs 22:6.
Many parents aren’t aware of the addicting forces that pull on their child. They know about drugs and alcohol, but what’s the harm with computer games?
What games are they playing?
How often? How long? Can they stop to eat?
Are they playing late, when they should be sleeping?
Be strong enough to take away the games, the phone, the computer, the tv, so they can experience life.
Your child’s mind, emotions and heart depend upon it.

King Solomon searched for meaning in life. It wasn’t having fun.
What did he conclude?
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth . . . . The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:  fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13, 14.

Seek to please God, and you will find pleasure.

 



How do you guard your family from "too much fun"?
 

What you wrote is all so true. There are so many things in our world now which draw us to them and the addiction can be so insidious that we don't realize what is happening. Thanks for a great article, we all need to be on the watch for this is our own lives.

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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