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Are you a sourpuss believer?

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Four ladies met at a restaurant. Two of them, although not elderly, had grandchildren. One had grown children who hadn’t married yet. The other was childless and retired. The conversation went back and forth about work, children, grandchildren and plans for the future. They were a mixed group of believers who had one thing in common – they were there to have fun.

Following the meal, they headed to a bowling alley where things got loud with each strike or spare. To onlookers, it seemed like they were enjoying themselves. They were. And yet the words “Christian” and “fun” have almost become an oxymoron. The two no longer seem to go together. This disconnect is articulated by unbelievers who have said they would rather party in hell than play a harp in heaven (which isn’t what God’s children will be doing when Lord Jesus returns anyway).

However, negative attitudes or opinions about enjoying themselves can hinder believers from grasping a simple truth – unbelievers aren’t the only ones who should be having fun. Jesus told His followers that He came to give them an abundant life. This abundance includes joy. Paul had to rebuke Peter for his hypocrisy, because he was eating and drinking with Gentiles when some other Apostles arrived from Jerusalem. Peter was having a good time, until they showed up. After they arrived, he stopped eating with the Gentiles (Gal. 2:11-13).

Paul also said he would become all things to all men if he might perhaps win some. This didn’t mean he joined in or condoned sinful activities. But, just like Jesus, he ate, drank and celebrated with unbelievers. Remember, Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine was done at a wedding feast in Galilee.

Groups of happy Christians can invade the world with their joy. They can take their faith out of the church and into life. In addition to inviting unsaved friends to church, they can invite them to a fun activity where the joy of a life lived in relationship with their heavenly Father can be shared.

Yes, in the world there will be smoking, drinking, and foul language going on. A healthy dose of compassion for the lost will help one overlook it. And beware of having a superior attitude or being over religious when in such an environment. It won’t help if we offend the very ones we hope to attract with our joy. And remember, the goal is fun. If someone gets saved because our faith rubbed off on them while we’re having it, so much the better.

Some suggestions to get you started include going on picnics. In Florida they can even be on the beach. How about competitive games like miniature golf or paint ball. Or get together and play word games that challenge the brain.

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