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By Grant Everly

As Christians, one of our key struggles is to keep moving forward. No matter how hard we try or want to push forward toward Christ, we constantly find ourselves slipping into phases of spiritual apathy and idleness. I often wonder what God thinks of us when we go through times in which we are essentially “spiritual bums.”

If I were to ask you to envision a bum, chances are you might go to the popular stereotype. You’d probably think of the 40-year-old man who lives in his mom’s basement, sits around and plays video games all day and literally does nothing. As you’re picturing this person, he’s probably sprawled out on a couch, Xbox controller in hand, cell phone wedged between his shoulder and his jaw (likely calling Dominos to place a delivery order). His accomplice, the 2-liter of Mountain Dew, sits beside him and he alternates taking drinks directly from the bottle, with eating potato chips from the bowl on his other side.

When confronted with this image, many average, hard-working people would be understandably upset. Some of us would probably be tempted to walk over to him, rip the Xbox controller out of his hand, and give him a convicting pep talk that more or less boiled down to “get off the couch and get busy.”

Chances are your daily life looks nothing like the life of this person, but what about your spiritual life? If God looked at your relationship with him what would He find you doing? Would you be sitting on the couch eating potato chips waiting for something to happen? If I’m being honest with myself, He probably finds me hoarding a large pizza as I play Xbox on my mom’s couch more often than I would care to think about. Perhaps the more frightening thing is that in God’s domain, the stakes are heightened. There is no time to waste and no spiritual stalling to be had. We need to have the mentality that Paul has when he says “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” in Pillippians 3:13-14. We must strain toward the future with every fiber in our body, and we must relentlessly press on toward “the goal.” And perhaps the most motivating fact is that we cannot afford not to.

At Deeper this past Tuesday we talked about making sure that we aren’t becoming spiritually idle. We went to the parable of the talents for help. The story is found in Mathew 25:14-30. Essentially, a young man takes some of his money and gives it to three of the servants, expecting them to take the money and come back with more. The master gave each servant what he knew the servant could handle. The first two of the three came to the master, having doubled what was given to them, but the third man had taken the money and simply buried it, obviously not reaping any sort of growth. The master was very upset and called the servant “wicked” and “lazy,” but the most startling and unsettling of the master’s comments come in verses 29 and 30 when he says “  For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to be the worthless servant thrown outside. The good thing is that the way to avoid this predicament is simple: Use what God has given you, and relentlessly work for Him. Don’t go burying your talents (both literal and metaphorical).

Let’s put the Xbox controller down and get off the couch. Let’s get to work and not waste the precious time God has given us.

“Ditch your idol, and get busy”  ~Josh Peterson

Grant Everly is a junior at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.

3 thoughts on “ICYouth: Put Down that Xbox Controller (Grant)

  1. Grant, this is very insightful! I believe sloth is an all too common sin that is rarely discussed. We are put here for a reason, and we have to get to our Father’s work. Our lives are precious, and must be used instead of wasted. God bless you on your journey and keep writing!!

  2. Grant, your words were very convicting! My mind has been on lots of things during this Christmas season, but too often idle on Christ’s work. Thanks for setting me straight!

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