Tag Archives: Galatians 5:22-23

Evangelism and Physical Fitness: Hobbies and Rest

18 Oct

Hobbies can be one of the most effective ways to rest our bodies.  They provide us with avenues for developing secondary skills and interests, for maintaining physical fitness and mental acuity, and for cultivating relationships.  Drawing our attention away from present difficulties, they present us with the opportunity to return to the “real world” with a renewed perspective.

That there are many benefits to developing a hobby is undoubted, yet the very activities which help us to rest can also turn against us.  Before you begin integrating hobbies into your rest, take a moment to ask the following questions:

  1. Does this glorify God?  Believers should never turn off their sense of discernment – even when at rest.  1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  This doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything fun, but it does mean that we need to ensure the things we do for fun are in keeping with God’s commands.
  2. Does this hobby boarder on or has it already become an obsession?  Scripture teaches the importance of self-control in all things and this includes our recreational activities.  (1 Corinthians 9:25, Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Peter 1:5-7)  If a side interest begins to crowd out other obligations, it needs to be brought into submission or dropped altogether.
  3. Does this hobby encourage ungodly attitudes in me?  2 Timothy 2:22 advises believers to, “flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace…”  If your choice of recreation isn’t encouraging the godly attitudes listed here, it shouldn’t be on your list of pursuits!  (At the same time keep in mind that just because a certain hobby isn’t good for you doesn’t mean that it needs to be avoided by every Christian.  The same soccer game that leads to an abusive and overly competitive spirit in one believer can be genuinely relaxing and God honoring in the hands (or feet) of another!)
  4. Does this hobby actually result in rest?  Truth be told, not every hobby helps us to rejuvenate.  This doesn’t mean that we ought to chuck any hobby that doesn’t, just that we don’t include those activities in the time we’ve already scheduled for rest.

If you ask these questions about your hobby and the answer to each leaves you with a clear conscience, then feel free to include it in you “resting schedule”.

If the answer is “no”, it may be time to look for some other interests worth pursuing.  Ask a friend what they do to relax, take a look through the courses being offered by your local art association or community college, or just wander through a book store until you find a subject that peaks your interest.  You may be surprised at some of the unusual hobbies which present themselves!

The Add On Sale

7 Nov

(The following excerpt is taken from “Retail Ready: 90 Devotions for Teens in the Workforce”, available for purchase on Kindle for $7.99 or in print from Amazon for $9.99.)

Read: 2 Peter 1:2-11

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22,23

It’s the defining line of retail sales excellence: the ability to not only help the customer find the product that he came in for, but to ensure that he leaves with everything that he actually needs to finish the project that he has begun.  I’m not talking about selling someone more useless junk or leaching money from the wallet of an unsuspecting victim.  That’s for amateurs and con men.  What I’m talking about is the ability to imbue a customer with confidence that he isn’t going to need to run back to the store a dozen times in order to pick up those items which he forgot.  What I’m talking about is the fine art of the add-on-sale… and it might look something like this:

Elwood Employee smiles as he hands a can of paint to Carl Customer.  “It sounded like you were painting a fairly large wall.  Do you have a drop cloth at home?

Carl frowns.  “No, I don’t.”

“They aren’t terribly expensive.  I can set you up with one for $1.50.  At that price, you can afford to just pitch it when you’ve finished.”

“O.K.  It’s definitely cheaper than replacing the carpet!” Carl laughs.

Elwood had just “added on” a sale and Carl leaves with the confidence that he won’t spend the day painting the wall only to end the afternoon fighting with his wife over the paint he splattered on the floor!

God, too, is skilled in the art of the “add on”, but unlike salesmen, His additions (the fruit of the Spirit) come free for the asking.  He knows that without these special virtues, it can be impossible at worst and difficult at best, to deal with the new situations that we encounter as His children.  Add to that the fact that without them it is nearly impossible to show others the value of His free gift and they suddenly become a very appealing extra!

Challenge: Don’t be satisfied with just the “basics” of Christianity!  Ask God to develop these virtues in your own life, then commit yourself to growing in the Lord!

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