Recently I was asked the question, “As a Christian, can I have fun?” This got me to thinking on how this is a perfect topic for a muse.
Please bear in mind that the following is only my opinion of what the scriptures say; I am not a teacher, pastor, or preacher; I am just me, a child of God that prays for wisdom and guidance from God. All scriptural references will come from the Holman Christian Standard Bible as that is my preferred translation of choice.
As a child of Christ, am I allowed to have ‘fun’? First, we need to define fun. Webster’s defines fun as: “someone or something that is amusing or enjoyable; an enjoyable experience or person; an enjoyable or amusing time; the feeling of being amused or entertained.” In the Bible, a definition is not given of what fun is per se, but it speaks about it in many places.
In Ephesians 5, Paul tells us to walk in love and avoid “sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks.” For Ephesians 5, Paul does not say not to have fun, but not to have fun that is based on anything sexual, impure, or greed based. In Ephesians 5:4, Paul specifically speaks against crude language and foolish talk. The original Greek words that are used are aischrotēs, mōrologia, and eutrapelia; aischrotēs for coarse talking, mōrologia for foolish talking, and eutrapelia for crude joking. The word aischrotēs means filthy, obscene, and indecent; mōrologia means speech that is dull, sluggish, and has lost its edge on reality; and eutrapelia means jesting or rude mockery. For me, Ephesians 5 states that we are not to make crude jokes or jokes that make fun of others; we are not to make jokes at another’s expense.
In Ecclesiastes 2:22-25, Solomon says, “For what does a man get with all his work and all his efforts that he labors at under the sun? For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile. There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy, his work. I have seen that even this is from God’s hand, because who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from Him?” In 3:12, Solomon states, “I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life.” And finally, in 8:15, Solomon says, “So I commended enjoyment because there is nothing better for man under the sun than to eat, drink, and enjoy himself, for this will accompany him in his labor during the days of his life that God gives him under the sun.” Here Solomon is telling us that while we are bound to our earthly lives toiling at work, we are to enjoy what God has given us so as to offset the toil of our labors. Solomon knew that more lay ahead for the truly godly man, but he also knew that we must have enjoyment in our lives.
In Luke 15:11-31, Jesus tells the Parable of the Lost Son; in this parable, we see that upon the sons return, the father throws a magnificent party and all celebrate. Jesus speaks of the joy of the son’s return; He does not speak against the celebration. In Psalm 149, David speaks of singing, dancing, celebrating, and praising God; this is the true meaning of biblical fun. Fun is allowed and fun is good; but fun is to have a purpose as we will now see.
In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul wrote, “”Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything.”“ In this one verse, Paul says a considerable amount; now let me present some others. In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul instructs the church of Corinth, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” In Colossians 3:16-17, Paul tells the church of Colossae, “Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” So now things become clearer, not only in regard to having fun, but in all things in life.
So, can the children of God have fun? Yes, they can as long as they do so with God in mind. All jokes need to be tasteful and not at another’s expense; all fun must be done in respectful and clean ways. We must always remember to keep the love of Jesus in our hearts when we do all things. Always pray and meditate on the Word; always go to God for guidance in all things.
God bless and have fun!