Video Games - Time vs. Eternal

You can only spend your time once 

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This is one that some of my friends will no doubt question me on... a LOT.  Why?  Because it encourages change  and causes you to think.  Not saying everyone will come to the same conclusion, but it won't be what some want to hear.

First off, I would like to say that no, I have not lost it.  Just because I have stopped playing video games does not mean that it is the end of the world and my social life.  After all, hearing 'video games' and 'social life' in the same sentence doesn't even make sense.  I believe that video games have no value in the long run, they simply take up time and space.  I think that this ever growing elephant in the room needs to be addressed, and here it can send me an email or post on my facebook to respond.

I will begin by talking about the long term job\life (i.e. future).

 As I practically had a full time (40 hour weeks) job this last summer, let me say this to those who haven't had such an experience: Your life will change.  Let me expand... you know that thing that we take for granted and spend frivolously?  Yeh, time, thats what its called.  Well, when you get a job, it kinda disappears real fast.  And when you get home, the first thing that comes to mind isn't playing video games; at least for me.  Why is this?  Well frankly, video games were fun to play, a kind of hobby.  But you see, when you come home from working for 8 hours, things kinda fall into perspective.  They suddenly seem quite pointless.  You will get home around 5:00 or 5:30 (on average for day job) and you will find that your day is mostly gone.  You may get on your computer, but often it would be to run the circuit (your daily beaten path) whether it be Email, IM, the news, Facebook, myspace, etc.  

If there are any other things that need to be done, whether it be a haircut, Youth Group, shopping, going to a friends house, going to the store, preparing for tomorrow; it will all happen after you get home.  By the time you begin to wind down from all that needs to be done, it will be 7 or 8.  If you are wise, you would go to bed around 10 or so; leaving little time for much else.  

 Even more so when you reach college!  You will have to maintain a job and your studies; even less time for video games.  What about post college and looking for a full time job?  What about when you have a family?  The amount of time to spend on such things as video games dwindles drastically.  Even if you have the time, you will think twice before you play; for time is more important.

Now some may argue that other activities such as Airsoft are practically the same in that they waste time.  But is this so?  When you are Airsofting or Paintballing you are building your body and mind, fulfilling 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:  

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. "

And also: 1 Timothy 4:8  

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Which brings me to my main point: What value do video games hold in eternity?  What do we get from them?  This is an example of something that offers nothing in return!  As far as time is concerned, it is a black hole that devours time, time that could have been better spent.  To think, the countless hours spent playing video games will be the some of the first things to be burned away when our lives are judged; what a hollow cause in the shadow of eternity !

My challenge in this is that you will re-evaluate your life.  Whether your time eater is video games or something else.  God did not call us to be passive in our lives, he called us to be different and to spread the Gospel.

"1 Corinthians 13:11   When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. "

Update: I have received some feedback about this article; let me clarify.  I am not saying that a few video games from time to time, it moderation, are in and of themselves evil.  I do not believe they are beneficial.  At the most, they may be helpful as military trainers or flight simulator.

One thing I forgot to mention is this: Especially during our teen and college years, we are developing tastes (and/or addictions) that we will have for the rest life.  If we develop a taste for video games during this time, we may have a hard time moderating it later on.  When you live at home, chances are your parents will to a degree control what you do or try to moderate your gaming or how you spend your time.  When you move out however, you are in control  of that time.  If you didn't learn how to properly manage it at home, can you imagine how much harder it will be to manage then? 

Time is something that we can spend once.  Once it is spent, there is no getting it back.