A Fun-Loving Jesus
“Don’t discount the importance of fun.”
A minister friend reminded me of this principle several months ago and it has been rattling around in my task-laden brain ever since. I am not used to viewing fun as a value.
…well, something you have when you are done working.
And if there is still work to be done, you shouldn’t be having any fun.
I should know better. My grandfather and father worked their fingers (and brains) to the bone, but my grandfather always had time to fish and my father rarely missed his weekly trip to the golf course.
My dad even had a stated philosophy on the subject. He said, “Some people play when they work and work when they play. Instead, you should play when you play and work when you work.” The implication was, you work hard and you play hard, which means there is a place for both.
I wonder if Jesus played. We don’t have any record of him tossing a Frisbee on the beach with the disciples or playing X-box with Samaritans. Maybe one reason we can’t remember Jesus having any fun is because we equate fun with packaged experiences such as theme parks, board games and movie theaters. These are fun things to be sure. But I suspect, in Jesus’ day fun was more integrated into daily life.
I think Jesus had fun on the Sea of Galilee with His disciples. I believe He enjoyed eating and drinking with sinners and tax-collectors. He must have laughed a lot. Even His stories and metaphors were fun!
Certainly, there were a lot of moments in Jesus’ life that weren’t fun. We would be hard pressed to find anything after His meal with His disciples in the Upper Room that remotely resembles fun.
But fun is a value. In fact, it is a command. There is that verse in the Bible where God says, “The fun people shall inherit the earth.”
Ok, it’s not in there.
But there is a verse that says, “Rejoice in the Lord always – again I say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). I know the context of this verse is about the attitude we have as we labor for Christ, but the point we should rejoice “always” means…
When the work is hard, but we are serving Christ, we rejoice.
When we see fruit from our labor, we rejoice.
And when we have time to share with others in wholesome fun, we rejoice.
I have decided I am going to have more fun, and I am going to invite others to have more fun with me. In fact, as I have been praying more for the ones God gives me to share His love with, I have become convinced they don’t want to spend time around someone who doesn’t know how to have fun.
Alright. I know there are a few people who are impressed by workaholics.
But have you ever spent much time with one?
And we need to have fun.
I have decided I am going to have more fun.
Whether I like it or not.