Realigning Priorities: How My Gaming Revealed Heartfelt Lessons

Reflecting on nearly three decades of life, I find three activities have dominated my time: sleep, school, and video games. My journey with gaming, starting from my childhood fascination to adulthood realization, reveals profound spiritual lessons, especially about prioritizing our hearts and time in ways that honor God.

1. The Allure of the Virtual World

Video games were more than a pastime; they were an escape from reality, fears, and insecurities. The sense of achievement in gaming was fulfilling, and I excelled at it. However, it wasn’t until college that I began to see the deeper connection between my gaming habits and my spiritual life.

2. Gaming and Spiritual Struggle

A Bible study in college opened my eyes to the impact of prolonged gaming on my spiritual life. It heightened temptations, dampened the fruits of the Spirit, and distanced me from God. Despite this realization, I struggled with moderation, swinging between restraint and binge gaming.

3. A Turning Point

Post-college, as I contemplated seminary, the need for a drastic change became clear. Matthew 5:30 resonated with me – if something causes you to sin, remove it. So, I gave away my Xbox, cutting off the source of my temptation.

4. The Challenge of Moderation

Even after giving away my gaming console, the temptation wasn’t entirely gone. Mobile games and the lure of buying a new console tested my resolve. Thankfully, new responsibilities, including a family, helped shift my focus.

5. Reflections on Time and Relationships

Looking back, I regret the excessive time spent gaming. It stunted my ability to build meaningful relationships and respond to others’ pain. Without gaming, I’ve found joy in more fulfilling activities, like reading, family time, and hobbies that nurture my soul.

6. Navigating Video Games as a Christian

For parents, setting boundaries and cultivating the right priorities around gaming is crucial. For avid gamers, consider if gaming aligns with or detracts from your spiritual and relational goals. If gaming becomes an idol, it may be time to reassess its role in your life.

7. The Heart of the Gamer

Ultimately, it’s not about gaming itself but the condition of the gamer’s heart. Are we attending to our souls and guarding against idols? It’s a question that extends beyond gaming to any hobby or interest.

Conclusion: A Journey of Self-Denial for Greater Joy

For me, relinquishing gaming was necessary to realign my priorities with God’s will. It was a difficult journey of self-denial, but immensely rewarding. Each person’s journey with hobbies and interests like gaming will be different, but the underlying principle remains: let’s keep our hearts focused on what truly matters.