As we conclude this series on gaming, there is one more question that remains: Can Christians engage in gaming with a good conscience? The answer, I believe, is yes, given a significant qualifier: This pursuit must be done with biblical wisdom. Wisdom is the skill that comes from a deep passionate love of God’s truth. You may have been born with intelligence, precocity, and a good memory, but with regard to wisdom, you were born a fool. Wisdom is a skill that may only be acquired through great energy and faith. Protection from the allure of gaming comes from a vigorous pursuit of wisdom. Take a moment to read Proverbs 1:30-2:6.
30 since they would
not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat
the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the
waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever
listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm."
1 My son, if you
accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your
ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you
call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you
look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will
understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
This passage is really an extension of Proverbs 1:7. It describes an earnest, energetic, almost frantic pursuit of wisdom and understanding. For Christians, the pursuit of wisdom must not be casual or sporadic. The casual pursuit of wisdom is no match for the powerful attraction of electronic gaming. You and your children must have your wisdom skills finely honed in order to even think wisely about what gaming activity, if any, should be enjoyed.
Developing this skill of wisdom is the result of having a mind renewed by the redemptive power of Christ. As we mentioned earlier, you won’t find the term electronic gaming in any concordance. But if you give yourself to the pursuit of wisdom as if your life depended on it—and it really does (Deut. 32:44-47)—then you will be building the principial base you need in order to evaluate the impact of gaming. Let me stress this again: you must begin with the passionate acquisition of wisdom before you or your kids even think about gaming.
This challenge is the same one given by Paul to Timothy. Paul is calling Timothy to warfare that yields a good conscience: "This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience… " I Timothy 1:18-19.
You must be just as prepared for warfare as Timothy was. If your children see this commitment in you, you will indeed be holding out the word of life to them.
You see, once we have laid the groundwork, the particular answer to a question—like what to do about gaming—need not be long and complicated. Please read and reread the passage in Proverbs referenced above. To apply this passage faithfully takes great wisdom and courage. It takes great wisdom and courage to engage in gaming that glorifies our great God. This is the vision you want to give your children. The Christian life is much more about being strong and courageous in pursuit of glory than it is about trying to figure out what not to do.
Let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions or additional things to consider.