Consumer or Consumed?
By Andrea Merrell
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2 KJV
How do you know you're an addict? When ...
- You stare at a screen waiting for your "lives" to refill.
- You get stuck on a level for more than a couple of days and Google it to find out how to win.
- You pay ninety-nine cents every time you need to move to the next level.
- That's all you and your friends talk about.
- And especially ... when you strategize moves in your sleep.
Someone posted on Facebook recently that they hate the words, "Clear all the jellies." I personally don't like the words, "Bring all the ingredients to the bottom," and now I'm dealing with bombs going off all over the screen.
If you don't have the faintest idea what I'm talking about, you are among the fortunate group of people who have escaped being bitten by the Candy Crush bug. On the other hand, if you are groaning inwardly and can totally relate, you officially have Candy Crush-itis.
I have a love/hate relationship with this game. It's a lot of fun, but lately it's consumed way too much of my time—valuable time that should be spent doing something productive. Unfortunately, when I'm not doing-the-Crush-thing, I'm tempted to play Words with Friends, Gems with Friends, Mah Jong, or something else equally addictive (like Solitaire, Free Cell, or Draw Something). Smart phones and iPads have made these temptations much too easy and accessible. Playing while watching TV, eating dinner, waiting in a drive-thru line, or stopped in a traffic jam—gives a whole new meaning to multi-tasking.
For most people, the word addiction brings thoughts of drug, alcohol, or nicotine abuse. Other forms of addiction include gambling, pornography, and inappropriate sexual conduct. Bad, life-altering habits are formed by a compulsive need for most anything—even food.
The truth is, anything that consumes our thoughts, our time, and our efforts—anything that takes priority over our relationship with God and the things He's called, equipped, and anointed us to do—becomes a type of bondage and hinders our spiritual growth and sense of well being. The Bible says: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. When we set our affection on worldly, temporal things, we become carnally minded, or controlled by human nature which, according to Romans 8:6 (TEV) results in death. However (as the verse continues), to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace.
Life and peace both sound pretty good to me—especially considering the alternative.
Maybe I'm feeling a little guilty/convicted about my obsession and wondering how much I could accomplish if I took that time to read, write, clean house, or spend time with the Lord. Not that games are a bad thing, mind you, but as they say: "All things in moderation." Everyone needs a hobby or a stress reducer, right? I don't play golf, ride motorcycles, or jump out of airplanes … I'm a gamer. So, I'm confessing my addiction and promising myself to do better.
How about you? What's your addiction?
Oh, by the way, I'm stuck on level 105 if you have any tips.
Copyright © 2013 Andrea Merrell, used by permission.
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Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC) and Christian Devotions Ministries. She has led workshops at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference (KCWC), Writers Advance Boot Camp, and CLASS Christian Writers Conference. Andrea’s writing has been published in numerous anthologies and she is currently working on a book about prodigals. For a complete freelance resume and a list of endorsements, visit www.andreamerrell.com, or contact her by e-mail: [email protected].
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