Hobbies or Obsession?

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.”

Collins English dictionary defines hobby as “an activity that you enjoy doing in your spare time.”

Webster‘s dictionary defines it as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation.”

Hobby can be anything from reading books to collecting coins or stamps, knitting, baking, gardening, playing sports or video games, etc. None of us can work full time. Everyone needs a break from the daily routine where we can take time to rest and engage in activities that refresh us. God does not want man’s life on earth to be monotonous and burdensome rather He wants us to enjoy the things that He has blessed us with. Hobbies provide relaxation and refreshment as they are the activities which we enjoy. There are some people who turn hobbies into careers and that’s great too but that is not the case with all hobbies and all people.

Everything we do, hobbies included is to be done for the glory of God. Our sole purpose should be to glorify God. We can always self-evaluate whether the things we are doing glorify God or not. There are people like me who love to read books and write during their spare time. I read books and write every chance I get. But we need to evaluate whether the content in the book we are reading glorifies God or not and whether what we are writing is to make God known or make ourselves famous.

Having hobbies is not wrong but there are chances of being carried away and making mistakes. Some real cases where this is demonstrated is with some people who love sports or watching TV programmes. We give importance to it so much that that we miss and neglect our time with God, family, friends, studies or fellowship. We know more about the details of a famous personality’s lives than Christ’s life. But the scripture encourages us to grow in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:9-11).

Hobbies can go wrong when we use them to escape from God and life and with a wrong attitude (Competition, jealousy, etc.). Hobbies are never meant to be so; instead they should help us grow in love for God and the universe He created. They should fill us with joy and gratitude towards God. Otherwise they will steal us of time, become idols in our lives and distract us from the very purpose we do things – which is to glorify God. When they consume us and take our eyes off from Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith then they become absolutely wrong. We should always remember that our hobbies have a lower priority and not dominate our higher priorities in life i.e., God, family, church/fellowship, vocations.
Our hobbies can be used to develop friendship with other people too. Some of us like playing video games, cooking, gardening, etc. Invite people who have a similar interest in your hostel, neighbourhood or fellowship. Let them also feel refreshed, valued and welcomed. That way you never know how unknowingly you’ll be sharing the love of God with them. Our hobbies can be turned into a blessing for others.

Kyle Worley, a student pastor writes that, “our hobbies should be practiced with gospel urgency. Vacations, hobbies, and rest do not exempt us from the on-going mission of God in our home, church, and community. If your hobby is an escape from living under the Lordship of Christ, then your hobby is a remnant of your sinful desire for autonomy. When you are enjoying fishing on the lake. You belong to Christ, the water and the fish belongs to Christ. Your hobby must become a platform upon which you stand to proclaim, ‘O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.’ Psalms 8:1. If our hobbies are lacking an urgency to know and enjoy Christ and to make Him known, then they are becoming less than they were designed to be.”

Ushia Rai is Studying in M.sc Agricultural extention at BCKV Mohanpur, West Bengal, She is actively involved in Mohanpur ICEU

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