What exactly are distractions and diversions? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an object that is a distraction directs one’s attention away from something else. Diversions turn the mind away from pressing matters. They both change the course or direction of a thing or person. Diversions are things that people do because they are enjoyable such as entertainment or amusement. They are fun, bring pleasure or are a sport. Entertainment in small doses can be relaxing to the body and a respite from trials and tribulations. The problem with distractions and diversions, though, is that they take us away from essential concerns.
When our babies are small, we expect that they will pass their time with games, toys, and otherwise having fun. They love to be tickled and cuddled. They eat, (and poop), play and sleep. They are virtually blank slates when they are born, and it is crucial that they learn speedily. This learning is done best when it is fun and entertaining. The brains of babies are small, and we want them to spend most of their days in joy. As they begin to progress, we gradually add in weightier matters that will help them to make it in life. They have to learn to walk, talk, feed themselves, get potty-trained, etc. At about age three they may start pre-school where learning is more organized but still fun. By the time they are 12-16 years of age, their attention should be turning away from a life of all pleasure to more pressing matters like learning to work, preparing for their future and forging a relationship with their God. Fun is still a key component of their lives, but by the time they have graduated from High School, they should understand that the pleasures of life are like candy. Candy is OK when consumed in small amounts. The problems come when diversions become the driving forces of our adult lives. Video games, watching hour after hour of movies, television and Sports activities have taken over the minds and lives of many adults. By the time we are adults, we should have a pretty good understanding of what life is all about and we should be able to put diversionary activities into proper perspective. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV) tells us these words:
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
But what I am discovering is that too many adults have the crucial matters of life overshadowed by the amusements or diversions of life. And what is the most crucial issue in life? Why are we here on planet earth in the first place? The Bible tells us that we were created to glorify God. Some adults seem to never have learned that lesson.
Is. 43:7 says, Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
By the time we are adults, we should know that our purpose for being on earth is for the glory of God. We were created to worship Him. That’s our bottom line and it should be the driving force of our lives. Most of us have about 70 years of life. Some may have more and others a little less. If we take away about one-third of that time for sleep we are left with around 47 years to glorify God. If we then subtract about 21 or so of those years for childhood, we only have about 26 good years, under the best of circumstances, to accomplish our reason for being on planet earth. We don’t have time for a lot of distractions and diversions. Christians, have you noticed that when you try to witness or talk to some individuals who are not living for the Lord about why they should be saved many of them are full of distracting comments? You might hear comments such as “God wants us to have fun.” “You Holiness people are too serious about life.” “Y’all are so dull.” “You can’t do this and you can’t do that.” “Everybody got to let loose sometimes.” The unsaved have no clue about the joy, peace, and happiness we find in serving the Lord. Besides, Saints of God can and do have fun, we just don’t have the kind that crosses over into sin.
The word fun can be described as enjoyment, amusement, and lighthearted or diverting pleasure. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says it is playful, often boisterous action or speech. But have you ever thought about the fact that Satan uses “fun” to divert the unsaved person from the truth that they are in imminent danger of eternal Hellfire? Think about it, unsaved people. If you don’t get saved, sanctified and filled with God’s precious Holy Ghost before you leave Planet Earth, Satan can cause you to party yourself right into a burning Hell.
It is indeed true that God wants us to enjoy His creation. That’s why we take vacations or travel when the opportunity presents itself. Vacations allow us to momentarily step away from the rigors of everyday life and enjoy God’s creation. But once the diverting holiday is over, we get right back to focusing on the business of real life. The “world’s” attitude, however, is that we should have “fun” all of the time, as though “fun” is our reason for being alive. Although some adults may not be walking around like a baby with a lollipop in his mouth, many walk around with a cigarette in their lips because it pleases them. Never mind the fact that cigarettes destroy our hearts and blacken our lungs, they don’t care because of the pleasure that they bring. Cigarettes are not even the worse distraction because the Devil will add deadlier combinations such as alcohol, weed, and cocaine. “Ha, Ha, Ha, what fun, he says”. He’ll throw in a little sleeping with someone else’s wife or husband. He’ll bring carousing and debauchery. He’ll make a fool of you by having you out on the dance floor shaking everything you have or on a pole, wrapping your legs around a bar for some man’s pleasure. He’ll have you gambling and stealing, killing, and pillaging. He’ll have you doing risky activities such as jumping out of airplanes and bungee-jumping, all under the name of “fun.” And all along he’s whispering in your ear, “God wants you to have fun.” One of his favorite whispers is “Ain’t nothing wrong with going to the clubs.” But if that be the case, why does it have to be done in darkness? John 3: 19 tells us why:
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 has a good description for this kind of behavior and the people that do such things. This passage says the following:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
To those who are unsaved, do you realize that living a Holy life is the ultimate pleasure? Do you understand that getting into the presence of God through prayer and worship, and experiencing the pure joy that the Lord gives makes partying a pale shadow to real happiness? Sin is a diversion, and worldly interests are men’s key distractions. Get right with God and fulfill your real purpose for being born. If you are saved, get the victory over diversions and distractions and focus on the worshipping and glorifying God that we were all born to do. May God bless you.