I recently heard a talk where the local NHS staff were having a meeting about something called “dual diagnosis“, this is where patients/clients have an addiction/depency but also are receiving support from a clinician for a mental health issue.  The problem that clinicians used to/still have is what to tackle first, the depression may have caused alcoholism/drug dependency in the first place but now that the person is unable to shake the addiction/dependency it is causing them to be more depressed and/or have other “mental health issues”.  It’s a chicken and egg problem!

Even if you are not under the care of a “clinician” you may be having similar struggles.  When you have a really bad day, and it seems as though nothing is going right, what do you do to forget about it all and unwind? Is it a “crutch”, does it become one? Drinking one glass of wine a night, can easily become drinking a whole bottle of wine a night!  Does your “relaxing activity” cause you to become distracted from real life and your family?  The virtual world may seem a good place to chill out and chat to random people, but you need to be careful you don’t spend too much time there!  I heard a story of one lady who spends so much time on her computer on “Secondlife” that she ignored her husband and children, the husband did all the housework, childcare and apart from sleeping and going to the toilet she did pretty much nothing else but chat to other people in this virtual world and now was divorcing the husband!

So are our “harmless” past-times sinful? Well only if:-

  • they cause us to be selfish with our money/time/energy/resources by forgetting the needs of others!
  • they cause us to lust after another person (male or female) who we are not in a relationship with.
  • they cause us to be wistful and wanting what someone else has.
  • They cause us to think that we are better/more attractive than other people, by making others feel worthless and ugly!
  • they cause us to ignore God’s direction by not making time to pray or read the bible
  • they cause us to get angry towards other people due to our own bigoted views which have been fed by more biased opinions.
  • they cause us to lie to others as we cannot be truthful even to ourselves about how much time we have really spent (wasted) on the past-time which hasn’t helped us in the slightest.

God created everything, so he wants us to enjoy ourselves but not everything is beneficial , and as I said a  few weeks ago, everything in moderation.  If we spend so much time enjoying ourselves and seeking things to make us feel better, we forget the whole reason I believe we are on this planet!  God created us, gave the Levitical rules as there was a whole manner of activities going on which were not what he created us for, sent Jesus down as a “final solution”, Jesus gave new rules which were easier to follow i.e. love god, love others, realise god loves you!

It is up to us to take time away from twitter/facebook/x-box/PS3/Nintendo Wii/chat rooms/the couch/the church pew/our beds and anything else which is keeping us in our own little world/pity party so that we can once again get into God’s word, hear from God and have our eyes open to other peoples needs!  God has life and life in abundance waiting for us, we just need to open our eyes or at the very least move them away from the things which are taking our attention away from the cross and we will see how many opportunities life has for us!

What do you think?