Why So Many Rules?
Q. A non-Christian friend of mine recently told me that people who aren't Christians get to have more fun. As much as I tried to debate it, that comment stuck in my head and I can't stop wondering if maybe it's true since there's a lot we can't do because of God's rules. What do you think of that?
A. It is very possible that some non-Christians do have more fun. Let's face it, sin can be fun. But that is the point: We have different priorities and standards. The things many people look at as fun are not good or right for us. And because of the consequences, the so-called "fun" often ends up not being fun at all.
When I became a Christian at 16, one of my greatest fears was that I would have to give up all the fun I was having. In fact, I was even afraid that I would not be able to find Christians who were fun-loving. I quickly found out that Christians do have fun-the difference is they have fun without the things that some non-Christians find fun. This doesn't mean non-believers are horrible people. But, some people who don't follow Christ live life by completely different standards. We are often told that casual sex, heavy partying and risky behavior are "the good life." But I totally don't buy that.
It's tempting to want the things God says "no" to and maybe even think he's robbing us of fun. But the reality is that God knows how we can best live our lives. In fact, I don't think of it as God telling us not to do things, but as God helping us live the best life we can. He knows there are things in life that are a ton of fun-after all, he is Creator of the some of the greatest fun stuff in the universe. But if God is not the center of our fun, then our so-called "fun" can pull us away from Christ, hurt us, or be very short-lived. For instance, sex is fun, but God created it not just for fun, but to bind two people together for life. When we do whatever gives us pleasure, we have some good times, but it is not lasting. I know very few people in the party scene who, when they are by themselves, are very happy or fulfilled.
By honoring God with your life, you have to give up some things that bring instant enjoyment. After all, you are not living for yourself but for him. And what you gain lasts much longer than this fleeting fun. It is the eternal fulfillment of living for God.
I'd compare my Christ-follower friend Chuck to anybody on the planet when it comes to a "fun-o-meter." He doesn't drink or sleep around. He is a faithful follower of Christ and he is really fun. He is grateful to God for the forgiveness of his sins and has a great time in life. My friend, Tom, is not a Christian. He's not a bad person, but simply not yet a believer in Jesus. He's also fun, but doesn't have the fulfillment and meaning in his life that Chuck has in his. Tom's fun is shallow and Chuck's is deeper.
In fact, to say living for God isn't fun is to miss the point of what God wants. Check out the story "Learning to Laugh with God" to read about God's plan for fun and laughter.