Evangelism and Missions

Is it OK for a Christian to play video games?


Ah, video games, the one thing that’s got most young men and women, boys and girls hooked and glued to any screen, be it game consoles, laptop and desktop computers, and even smartphones. These creative programmes give many countless hours of entertainment that’s both stimulating to the brain and consuming to the time one has available for the day. And although some might say that it’s fun, one can’t deny the fact that it does take away some things from us.

‘Is it OK for me to play?’

This article isn’t going to bash gamers or prohibit Christians from playing videogames. Paul said “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful, but not all things build up” (1 Corinthians 10:23).

Videogames are a very effective means to pass the time, have a little fun, and even bond with family and friends. But despite that, they are not effective in building us up in the faith.

Videogames have various genres, including fighting games, role-playing games, driving games, simulation games, and even mind-challenging games. Some will say that these indeed help build critical thinking as well as creativity (I used to believe that, too).

But one downside is that videogames rarely (if any) provide ground for a Christian to grow in their faith. Can you imagine a person saying “I love Jesus more” after a round of Candy Crush on their smartphones or tablets or after killing other players after a game of “Halo 5?”

What you feed yourself with

I used to be hooked to videogames myself, playing up to 12 hours in one day. I can attest to the fact that a majority of what I used to think about revolved around the games that I used to play. In short, I was not in touch with reality. Have you experienced this?

This truth is best explained by the Lord Jesus Himself, who said, “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness” (Luke 11:34). Think about it. What you feed yourself with nourishes your spirit, soul and body.

And when you feed yourself with imaginary things coming from a videogame, you would of course expect to get imaginary things in your head, too.

What to do instead

Friend, instead of playing videogames, even those with supposedly “Christian” content (there exists such games), realise that you will be giving precious time to it. That time you have – all of it – was already bought by the Lord Jesus Christ with His own blood. Decide instead to spend it in the presence of God by reading His Word, worshipping and praying to Him, and fellowshipping with other believers. You can also decide to spend your time witnessing for Christ, too.

Let’s learn to “redeem the time for the days are evil” (see Ephesians 5:15-17).

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