This is ‘time out’, free of other responsibilities, to be re-created; of relaxing, to be made anew in spirit, refreshed, reinvigorated and refocused. Time away from the pressures and demands of life should not be a time to relax our standards by dabbling in questionable activities, either believing it’s the acceptable thing to do, or justifying it because ‘I deserve it...I’m just having a good time...letting my hair down’. Although we are ‘off-duty’ from other obligations we are never off-duty in our walk with the Lord, nor is the Devil taking time-out from his subtle schemes to gain the advantage over us (1 Tim 5:13; 1 Pet 5:8). Spare time activities should restore us mentally and physically so we can tune in more clearly to the spiritual realm besides refreshing us for our daily life.  Do these activities bring us closer to God or not?  Jesus Himself took time out for this reason (Mt 14:13; Lk 5:16).

We are made social creatures so there should be some interaction with others but also time alone for us. Be mindful of others and do not neglect your responsibilities, especially to your own family. Often the most loving thing we can do for them is to ensure their emotional needs are being met – this may call for a sacrifice of our plans to just ‘be there’ for someone else.

Don’t fritter your time away on unedifying entertainment, use it profitably to pursue your relationship with God (which is eternally rewarding), for further study, preparation and advancement in the areas of your ministry and by also

  Build times of (physical, mental and spiritual)                                        recreation into your schedule

reaching out in a relaxed, informal way to others with the love of Christ, be they Christian or non-Christian. Build friendships through being together and doing something mutually enjoyable so you can ‘speak’ the Word of God into their lives as opportunities present themselves.

We unconsciously take on the values and habits of those we mix with and the influences we expose ourselves to, so use your ‘free’ time wisely. Sport, exercise and hobbies are all wholesome pastimes, yet be careful they do not become an idol taking you away from devotion to Christ. Whatever we do, it should be done for the glory of God, with a clear

    Don’t let your recreation pull you                                     away from God

conscience, and knowing we are answerable for all we think, say and do (Mt 12:36,37; Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10).

See also: accountability, fun, leisure, refresh, relaxation, sports.


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