$tewardship of Gaming
Counting the cost of what it takes to play digital games.
Gaming takes money. Whether it’s the games themselves or the devices they’re played on, investing finances plays a factor. Are you aware that God is interested in how you use His money? Stewardship is a common theme throughout the Bible and rightly so—how you manage the resources you’re given plays an impact on the life you lead.
Hg 2:8 declares that finances belongs to the Lord—even yours and mine. So if we don’t own the money we currently possess, what does that make us? Stewards. Or if you prefer, managers. We’re accountable to God for what we do with money. We need to count the cost of our gaming. Stewardship matters with gaming, because there’s a way God desires us to appropriate the funds He’s given us.
Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is
Gaming is an enjoyable activity when I do so with God; it’s a money-pit without Him. I am with God in everything I do (so are you). Knowing this, it makes sense to use that time to enjoy Him most. When gaming itself has been my focus, I found myself chasing after it—I would find ways to collect more, play more, spend more, even steal for gaming. I found myself working, just to get back to playing. My habit was rouge. Yours may be also. Before you did any of the above, did you check-in with Jesus about spending that money? Was that amount for you?
In the Bible, God spends a lot of time talking about money, in order to teach us that it’s a tool. He also explains that because it’s such a useful tool, it can reveal the content of the heart. Simply put, “Show me your bank statement and I’ll show you what’s most important to you.” I know it’s true, because at a point in my life I had a sizable gaming collection and was hungry often. It was poor stewardship.
The purpose of money is revealed in God’s character. God is a giver and the source of all good things. Every day he dips into his unending reservoir of gifts and distributes them to us according to His wisdom. Gaming doesn’t have to be all about us. As we receive from Him, His expectation is that we also give. On living the new life in Jesus, Paul says that receiving is ultimately for the purpose of sharing, to express the glory of God (Eph 4:28). Is your gaming collection something that was built with God, or is that collection your own creation? If it’s the latter, gaming will lend itself towards idolatry.
Count the Cost
Besides money, what might gaming be costing you? Trust. God is a master accountant—He isn’t going to reward poor stewardship with more money. If your gaming habit has the throne of your heart, then Jesus takes a back seat to it (Jm 4:3). It may be God’s desire to bless you with that game you enjoy, but you’re the one holding up receiving as your bank account exists for another god (Pr 21:17).
Gaming could also be costing your focus. Leisure is a need— we aren’t machines. That said, our priority is God and His way—everything else is reveal how splendid He is. God designed you to enjoy gaming with balance. Jesus promises that as we seek God’s objective, He’ll take care of our needs (Mt 6:19-21). If you find the balance in your life shredded, lacking clarity, maybe gaming needs to lose its place in your heart..
We’re accountable to God for what we do with money.
Above all, it can cost you eternal life. Do you love gaming more than Jesus? Are you storing up treasures here and neglecting the Treasure above all? If your heart is set on satisfying your lust for pleasure, it will ruin your finances, relationships, and soul. The games are fleeting—you go from one to the next seeking more pleasure than the last game could offer. That’s what a heart out of alignment does with gaming. If your heart is set on Jesus, the peace of God is your reward. A balanced life is your possession. Good stewardship will cause money to chase you, as God opens the windows of Heaven to meet your every need—even the leisure of playing a digital game or two.
The good news is that God has equipped you to get back on track. It’s a good practice to perform fasting–the principle of letting go habits, even needful ones, to reveal where God is in your heart. Fasting isn’t just for food, but even activities like gaming. I’ve done it and I don’t regret it at all. It’s given me a new focus with the place gaming needs to have in my life, but more importantly it restored a right spirit within me.
I feel refreshed as I’m looking to my source for direction and joy—Christ Jesus. By itself, gaming is that moment when you purchased a new console, but there’s nothing to play on it. It’s unfulfilling and empty. Spending time with God in prayer, reading the Bible and being with other Christians are the best activities—those activities also help you grow your management skills.