In a previous study I examined the differences between sacrifice and consecration, and I talked about how I was afraid that God would ask me to sacrifice my love for writing, where in reality He only sought that I consecrate it for a greater good. Of course, there are other things which God has asked me to sacrifice, but I do not regret the loss of any of them.
Here is one example.
I didn’t play my first video game until my mid-teens, but once I tasted them I fell deeply in love. As soon as I got away to college, and had control of my days, I would play them non-stop, never mind what classes I was supposed to be attending. After a few years I was able to ease off the gas somewhat, but basically if I didn’t have to be doing something else, then games was where you would find me.
It wasn’t that I thought that video games deserved such a high priority in my life, I knew perfectly well that they were quite trivial in the eternal scheme of things. But at that point I needed them. At that point there were a lot of unhealthy habits and lingering wounds all around me. I wasn’t dealing with them, and video games were one of the only things that gave me a distraction from them all. I thought it was peace.
Interestingly, God never actually asked me to sacrifice video games, He just gave me real peace. He pushed me to address those underlying wounds and fears, and then soothed the resultant pains with His love. I didn’t need to hide from those hard parts of life anymore, because they were genuinely being healed.
Then, naturally, I started playing games so much less. I sacrificed them without even thinking about it. Now that the real world was finally a place that I could live without shame, I was much more interested in engaging with it. I became a better husband and father, and started spending genuine quality time with my family.
In fact most of the gaming I do now is social. I play a lot more board games and card games, because it is easier to include other people in them. Our family regularly works through puzzles and legos together. Many of the video games that I purchase now are specifically chosen for their cooperative elements, so that I can play them alongside of my wife and son.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t ever play single-person games during my me-time, but it is far less than before, often with a few months between sessions. More importantly, when I do play them, it is for the actual enjoyment of them, not to escape. I do not need them anymore you see. I do still have needs, but God has given me something far better to take care of them.