Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
In The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis writes: “Father Christmas was so big, and so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also solemn…”
“These are your presents,” he said, “and they are tools not toys. The time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well.”
Let me begin by asking a couple questions:
How do you view the things God has brought into your life? Do you view them as toys or tools?
Do you use the prosperity that God has brought to your life for your entertainment or edification?
The idea behind this principle is for us to examine our plans and possessions and see if we are using them as tools for the Lord and not toys for ourselves. I am not saying we cannot recreate or enjoy having some things, but there is a line in which the things God has placed into our life to be tools, now become toys of self-indulgence .
Paul told believers at various times that their lives were to be focused on Jesus and His purposes for their lives. (1Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:23)
I want to encourage to you examine the following areas of your life and judge whether you are using things for entertainment (toys) or edification (tools).
Our world today would say that TV, Music, and Movies are about our entertainment. We use these outlets as toys rather than tools. We are not thoughtful in our viewing or listening choices and these choices are factored on what we “want” versus, “if Jesus would be honored by this choice”. Frankly, there are many Christians that watch and listen to things that grieve the heart of our Savior. In fact, many times what we find humorous in movies, are the sins for which He died.
Personally, I enjoy social media. I love that I can see what friends and family are doing. I like the fact that I can be encouraged by other believers posting gospel-centered quotes. Social media can be a great tool for God’s glory! However, many use social media as a toy and not a tool. They steward their time poorly by taking in far too much social media. Some use social media as a means to glorify their sin, or spread gossip about another. Are you using social media for entertainment or edification?
The World Wide Web can be a tremendous tool for research and other productive activities. However, there are also dangers with the internet. The internet can be used as a toy to spend countless hours “surfing” looking at YouTube videos and playing online games. We must invite the Holy Spirit to help guide our internet usage. Not only what we view, but how long we are spending online.
We all need some R and R! It is good for God’s people to spend time renewing and refreshing. God is the one that set the pattern of rest and established the Sabbath. But our recreation needs to be purposeful. Why are you taking a vacation? Why are you spending the day on a hike? Why do you go skiing? For a believer the answer should be that we are renewing and refreshing so that we can continue the work God has called us to accomplish. The challenge comes when we are using recreation as a toy rather than a tool. When it is solely focused on our wants, and not on God’s will. For many people recreation is not a tool to sharpen them for God’s use, but an toy for which the can worship the idol of self-indulgence. I don’t want to be misunderstood here… yes, go have fun, but make sure you are doing it with the right motives for the right purpose!
God has not blessed us financially so that we can lavish ourselves with possessions. Money is a tool that God wants you to use for His glory. We must carefully examine our motives and reasons for purchases. When a person already has 25 pairs of shoes, do they really need another pair? Are they using God’s money as a toy or a tool? We must spend time examining our budgets and expenses to make sure we are using God’s money for His purposes not our pleasures.
We serve such a benevolent God, “who giveth us richly all things to enjoy,” (1 Tim. 6:17). We must remember that these blessings that God bestows upon us are to be used as tools for his glory, not toys for our overindulgence.