One thing that I have heard people say before is that if they give their lives to Jesus Christ then they will have to give up some of the "fun stuff" in their life. As followers of Jesus Christ we are required to give up some stuff because it may contradict the nature of God, or it may be a distraction or idol in our lives. I thought I would share a few things that I have given up over the years that I believe allowed my relationship with Jesus Christ to grow.
-Television- I know it sounds crazy, and especially with me being such a fan of The Office. Last year we decided to cancel our satellite television service. We still watch DVD's that we own or receive through Netflix. My mom records a couple of shows on her DVR, but besides that, we do not watch television. We realized that with all our ministry obligations that we are not home enough to justify the money we paid for the service. We also realize that when we were home, there was hardly anything on worth watching. Since canceling our television service it has allowed Belinda and I to spend more time talking, when we would have been channel surfing and finding nothing on.
-WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)- Yeah this sounds even more crazy that I ever watched it. I never watched it growing up, but then started watching it in college to make fun of it, and eventually got hooked. I realized after a few years though that it was trash. It was ridiculous some of the stuff on there. I also think it attributed to anger issues that I struggled with for a while. I remember being convicted to stop watching, but continued to as I justified my reason was to watch a certain Christian wrestler profess his faith on television. Well I eventually gave it up completely, and it was a great move in my life.
-Facebook- What? A youth pastor who doesn't Facebook? You're exactly right! I was on Facebook for about a year and a half and that was more than enough time for me to see what a waste it is. If you know me you know that I often say "Facebook is of the devil" and that's pretty much how I feel. I know that it is a tool that can be used for good, but what I saw was that it was only used for bad. Most everyone is negative on Facebook. I know that sometimes I have to watch my own cynical comments on Twitter. I just saw that Facebook was a platform for people to say things that they definitely would not say to someone's face, and used it to attempt to tear others down. So I gave up Facebook, and it was one of the greatest decisions ever.
So what about you? Is there anything that God wants you to give up in order to grow closer to Him? Have you given up anything in the past to grow closer to God? If so please share with us!