11, 12. When choosing recreation, what Bible counsel should we keep in mind?
11 Jehovah created humans in a way that makes it possible for them to enjoy and benefit from recreation. Solomon wrote that there is “a time to laugh” and “a time to dance.” (Eccl. 3:4) But not every pastime is beneficial, relaxing, or refreshing; nor is it good to engage in recreation too much or too often. How can our conscience help us to enjoy upbuilding recreation and benefit from it?
12 The Scriptures warn against certain behavior identified as “the works of the flesh.” These works include “sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these.” Paul wrote that “those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.” (Gal. 5:19-21) Accordingly, we can ask ourselves: ‘Does my conscience move me to shun sports that are aggressive, competitive, nationalistic, or violent? Does my inner voice warn me when I am tempted to view a film that features pornographic scenes or one that condones immorality, drunkenness, or spiritism?’
13. How can the advice at 1 Timothy 4:8 and Proverbs 13:20 help us with regard to recreation?
13 The Bible also provides principles that can help us mold our conscience with regard to recreation. One is that “physical training is beneficial for a little.” (1 Tim. 4:8) Many have concluded that a measure of regular exercise promotes good health and refreshes the body and mind. If we want to enjoy exercise in a group, should we share in it with just anyone? Proverbs 13:20 tells us: “The one walking with the wise will become wise, but the one who has dealings with the stupid will fare badly.” Does this not suggest that we should be selective in our choice of recreation, guided by our Bible-trained conscience?
14. How did one youth act in harmony with Romans 14:2-4?
14 Christian and Daniela are the parents of two teenagers. Christian relates: “During our Family Worship evening, we discussed recreation. We agreed that some ways of having fun are acceptable whereas others are not. Who can be considered good association? One of our daughters complained that during recess at her school, some Witness youths behave in a way that she thought was not proper. And she felt under pressure to behave in the same way. We reasoned that each of us has a conscience, and we ought to be guided by it in choosing what we do and with whom.”—Read Romans 14:2-4.
Your Bible-trained conscience can help you to avoid dangers (See paragraph 14)
15. How can considering Matthew 6:33 be of help when planning recreation?
15 There is also the question of when to engage in recreation. Do you plan recreation around theocratic activities, such as meetings, field ministry, and personal study? Or do you find yourself trying to fit theocratic activities between periods of leisure? What are your priorities? Jesus said: “Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33) Does your conscience prompt you to set priorities that line up with Jesus’ advice?