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Monday, May 6, 2013 | Comments (7)

by John MacArthur

God has given each of us a limited number of resources—in particular, time, money, talents, and energy. And we are commanded to be good stewards of each (cf. Ephesians 5:15; Ecclesiastes 11:9; Mark 12:30).

How we use those resources is reflective of our priorities. As Jesus said, speaking specifically of money, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Christians must consider how they can use their resources not solely for their own leisure and entertainment, but for the work of the gospel.

Recent studies show that the average American watches more than five hours of television per day, which, spread over a 70-year lifespan, amounts to more than 14 years of viewing. Some of that may be instructive and diversionary, but such statistics force us to consider what Christ will say to those believers who have spent a fifth of their lives—or more—staring at the tube (cf. Romans 14:10-12). And that doesn’t even begin to factor in all the additional time that most people waste on the Internet.

So ask yourself how much real benefit you receive from watching television and movies or playing video games, and weigh that against the time you spend in spiritual pursuits. How much money do you spend on temporal amusements, and how does that compare to your eternal investments? How hard do you labor not to advance your own agenda but to further the work of Christ’s kingdom? These are heart questions every believer needs to ask. As stewards of the King (Matthew 25:14-30), we have been called to so much more than our own entertainment.

(Adapted from Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong.)


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#1  Posted by Joseph Wade  |  Monday, May 6, 2013 at 4:53 AM

The facts are staggering about how much time is spent watching TV, and being on the internet. I might add that the cell phone is another huge distraction as well, after all it's a mini computer too. Our daughter graduated nursing school this past Saturday, during the ceremony and lectures, I looked about the auditorium and over half the people attending were on either there smart phone or tablet during the ceremony. A lot of the children were playing video games on mom or dad's phone as well. I was convicted and grieved because as a Christian I see how easy it is to be caught up in the world. Jesus makes it clear "Love not the world". My prayer has been to spend more time in the word, more time doing things that make a difference instead of watching T V including viewing the internet. Thank you for these articles, they challenge and convict me.

#2  Posted by Keith Stokes  |  Monday, May 6, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Thanks Joseph for your reply. This too has been on my heart as well. It's almost like we are living by ourselves when out in public spaces. I have been observing for some time how there are so many people walking around and almost all of them have heads down typing into their phone or tablet or some other device completely unaware or ignoring the physically present people around them. And yet, people with all their gadgets say how lonely they are. I've joked to my wife one day these people seem almost to be zombies. But it's really no joking issue when we are becoming more detached from each other. That is one reason we don't own any cell phones or smart phones or tablets. Just one computer at home and the land line telephone.

#3  Posted by Garrett & Christel Mcgowan  |  Monday, May 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM

I find that the whole world system is a distraction from my Lord.

Every day is a battle. I must daily put on the full armor of God, just to get through the day.

I Love Jesus, the Christ. my Lord and Savior

#4  Posted by Sunny Shell  |  Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 3:41 AM

Thank you Pastor MacArthur and the GTY team for your faithfulness to share the truth of God's word with us...hard truths that we all need to hear.

I too have been very distressed and pray constantly not to be bitter about all the self-promoting and useless posts on social media by my precious brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus.

Rather than use every resource God has given us to encourage and exhort one another (Rom 1:11-12, Heb 10:24-25) to remain steadfast and faithful to Christ and share the Gospel with the lost, we have sadly succumb to the vanities of sharing solely what entertains or promotes useless chatter—squandering what God has given us.

May God help us to return to Him with our whole hearts.

#5  Posted by Jo Ann Lequang  |  Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 1:45 PM

THANK YOU so much for this timely post. I am grieved at how much time I waste and have wasted, and I see it all around me. I am also distressed by how much time churches devote to recreation when compared to time spent in Bible study, prayer, evangelism, benevolence, or other important areas. I am also amazed how many Christians think I am interested in what they ate for lunch (complete with pictures). I'm not even all that interested in what I had for lunch ... I appreciate your boldness in tackling this issue!

#6  Posted by James Williams  |  Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Wow! Guilty to a good extent. But, thanks to this slap in the face, no longer. Thank you Brother John!

#7  Posted by Sharon Langmaid  |  Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Praise God for John M. and his willingness to confront difficult and timely subjects...Yes, this morning I was seeing people IN CHURCH on their phones and ipads...IN CHURCH!!! I am so looking forward

to being at Grace Community Church this October and sitting under

the wonderful teaching of John MacArthur!