Breaking My Addiction to Entertainment

The following is a transcript of the audio.

“I love Jesus but my heart is drawn to spend too much time with entertainment. How do I break the hold entertainment has on my heart?” That was a question sent in to Desiring God a few years back, and it was a question Pastor John addressed. Here’s what he said.

That is a very good question and I think it is especially relevant, because we live, I think, more now than ever in a day when entertaining kinds of things are immediately accessible. I was thinking the other day of the difference between our temptations and, say, 300 years ago, 250 years ago, the day of Jonathan Edwards. Edwards would write about the folly of young people getting together to do frivolous conversation, or other worse things, bundling it was called, get into bed with each other and keep your clothes on, that sort of thing. Just spice up life a little bit. Life gets boring in New England 250 years ago.

Today we carry in our pockets radio, television, Internet, and games and anything that will be titillating, just fun. And fun is a word in the church today that is just rampant. It is an adjective. It is a noun. It is a verb. Because we do ministry in order to fit this mentality. So I am deeply concerned about that. I want to stand for seriousness about God, instead of making him palatable by making him fun, turning him into another piece of entertainment.

So this question is: How do you break free from that kind of addiction? Well, recognizing it is a huge step in the right direction. Second, I would say: Seek the Lord earnestly about it. Pray like crazy that God would open your eyes to see wondrous things out of his law. Third, I would say: Immerse yourself in the Bible even when you don’t feel like it, pleading with God to open your eyes to see what is really there. Then I would say: Get in a group where you talk about serious things. And then I would say: Begin to share your faith.

One of the reasons we are not as moved by our own faith (as we should), is because we almost never talk about it to any unbeliever. It starts to feel like a kind of hothouse thing and then starts to have a feeling of unreality about it and then the powers of entertainment have more sway in our life. And so those would be some of the things. But ultimately it is a gift of grace to feel the glory of God.

One last suggestion. Think about your death. Think about your death a lot. Ask what you would like to be doing in the season of life or hours or days leading up to meeting Christ. I do that a lot these days. I think about the impact of death and what I would like to be found doing and how I would prepare to meet him and give an account to him.

That’s a sobering thought to end with. And for more on the role of the spiritual affections in the Christian life, there’s an episode where Pastor John explains the four levels of our spiritual affections — that’s episode #264. It’s worth checking out. Well, we will be back on Monday with a new episode based on a listener question — a question emailed in from you the listeners. So please keep sending in those excellent questions. Send them to askpastorjohn@desiringgod.org. And please visit us online at desiringgod. org to find thousands of books, articles, sermons, and other resources all free of charge from John Piper, and all intended to help explain why God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. I’m your host, Tony Reinke. Have a great weekend.

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