Joy Worth Sharing
What you enjoy is what you share.
We love to share what we enjoy. Most games I play have some multiplayer component to it, simply because I think the experience is best when shared. It happens in other places also, like getting someone else to acknowledge what you think is beautiful or getting them to join you in celebrating some type of achievement—you've probably done this already today. From uploading game clips to streaming services like Twitch, the message is clear—we maximize our joy in sharing or praising our pleasures. But there are questions that arise from this:
- What is joy ?
- What am I enjoying?
- Is it worth sharing?
Joy is a highlighter on your being satisfied in something or someone. In this beautiful truth, we must be mindful that sin distorts our ability to supremely enjoy what we were designed to, namely God (Rm 11:36). It's wonderful to know that we were made in God's image, after his likeness, for the purpose of enjoying Him above all else (Gn 1:26-27). Trees cannot enjoy God. Animals can't savour his beauty. We don't even do so with the affection that he deserves because of our sin, though we are enabled to finally see Him when we receive His Holy Spirit. The Bible declares we are made like Him, able to contemplate His holiness and be totally satisfied with Him being the most wonderful desire of our body, soul and spirit.
This truth leaps off of the pages in Lk 4:18-19. While Jesus indeed recovers physical sight of many blind people, it's the sight of the heart that He comes to recover chiefly—Jesus's deep work involved body, soul and spirit and His mission, now worked through the Church, is to reveal how beautiful God is (1Pt 3:18). All who belong to Jesus—all who have been given a new passion by His Spirit–can see God for His truly infinite beauty!
So I now ask what is it we enjoy? What gives us greatest pleasure? This is so crucial, that once He revealed this truth to me it changed the who, what, when, where, how and why questions of my entire life, including gaming. He revealed how satisfying He is to me! Php 4:8 says:
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.
What are these things Paul is hoping you fill your entire days savoring? They are everything that God is and what reveals God as wonderful and mighty! Whatever you enjoy is at the forefront of your life. It consumes your thoughts. You wake up to it.
Does what you play reflect the glory of God? If it doesn't, you run the risk of it distorting your view of God and drawing you away from Him, back to a life of chasing the wind. Does it glorify evil things? You know, does the game highlight sin as a cool or entertaining thing? Look at the above verse again—it's saying to think about God more often than we do now. There are so many distractions, but I'm hoping we'll fight the good fight of faith together!
Finally, the second question will drive home the point of the last. Based on this understanding, if the game has the above traits from Php 4:8, you can share with confidence as you desire others to join you in maximizing that joy. In this way, your joy is made complete.
We maximize our joy in sharing or praising our pleasures.
You give the game praise by sharing it so others can consume it too. So, don't share what distorts God's perfect image, ruining the opportunity people have to see God. I've had to pull down many posts on GAMeTILLDAWN from over the years, because of this very thing. I liked the reviews and commentaries I'd done, but they focused on things that have no merit. I thank God for delivering me from such a low handling of His glory.
The phrase "you give it praise by sharing it" is crucial. It's what makes our joy in Christ Jesus complete—when we share our love for Him, His great quality, our satisfaction in Him overflows.
If you're wrestling with what you take joy in, pray to God about it. That struggle means you've been given the gift of true sight. Most gaming libraries have garbage that needs to be removed. What you enjoy, you will share. We're held accountable for what we share. Whether you're a streamer, pro-gamer or whoever, be mindful of what you enjoy and make sure it culminates in God. Then, you'll be able to see all things for what they really are.