I can genuinely say that something I love to do is to watch YouTube videos. I really enjoy watching cooking videos and cute animal videos about rescue dogs. Whenever I have a break in my day, I quickly find myself searching for my phone to watch these videos. Whether I am tired, fully awake, bored, or terribly busy, I probably watch an average of 5-7 videos or more everyday. Thankfully, I barely watch TV! This is certainly an innocent activity for me to do in my spare time and it is nowhere near sinful, but I am embarrassed to admit that I spend time doing this. You may ask, “Why are you embarrassed? If you are not committing a sin, why shouldn’t you enjoy watching YouTube videos?” It isn’t the fact that I am watching these videos that is embarrassing, but it is the fact that there have been days where I have not read the Word of God, yet I still managed to watch the videos!
Many believers erroneously equate sin with the world. During the Sunday fellowship of Irvine Christian Students, the speaker gave a very clear analogy on the difference between sin and the world. Sin is a contamination; it is like mud on a white shirt. The shirt is no longer purely white at that moment, but the dirt can be washed away, similar to how our sins can be washed away by the blood of Christ. On the other hand, the world is like having blue dye on a shirt. The color is beautiful and seems harmless, yet the shirt is no longer purely white. Also, the dye cannot be removed easily. We as believers have to be careful not to equate sin with the world, because being in the world is more dangerous and harder to be delivered from. Sin is more obvious because through our conscience, we know right from wrong; however, the world is less obvious and way more enticing. Rethinking about my love for YouTube videos, these videos are very innocent in nature. However, I must ask myself this question: Has this innocent action I have participated in damaged my relationship with the Lord? Have I been cheating on God, occupying my time with something other than Him? Anything that pulls us away from God and sabotages our relationship with Him, whether it is harmless or not, is the world. It is a tool that can be used by the enemy to build a wedge between us and the Lord. There were days when I should have made sure I read the Word of God instead of watching YouTube videos. These YouTube videos, though innocent, are a part of the world. They have occupied my time and pulled me away from God.
James 4:4 says,
“Adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
Therefore whoever determines to be a friend of the world is constituted an enemy of God.” When we love someone, we put time and energy into our relationship with them. In order for us to show our love for the Lord, we must allocate our time and effort in spending personal time with Him and fellowshipping with other believers. If we are placing our attention on someone or something else, diminishing our time with the Lord, it is as if we are cheating on God and committing adultery.
1 John 2:15-16 says,
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him; Because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.”
These verses can seem a little harsh. Does this mean you cannot love a certain sports team, songs, or have a hobby? Does this mean you cannot love someone else and spend time with them? Should we only give our time to God and to nothing else? Well, we must all ask ourselves this question: With what have I been filling in my time? With sins, we can confess them, ask God for forgiveness, and remain close to Him. However, if we fill our time with the things that we love in the world, it will be very difficult to break away from these in order to spend time with God. That is why we cannot truly love the world and our God at the same time. So, what should we do?
Practically, it is not easy to avoid the world because we live in the world; however, we need to recognize that we are not of the world. We can learn from the word of God to guard ourselves from what the world can offer and be watchful to what may stick to our heart.
1 John 5:21 says,
“Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”
And Proverbs 4:23 says,
“Keep your heart with all vigilance…”
We can give ourselves to the Lord and make Him our top priority, and spend time with Him everyday setting our mind and heart to Him. Naturally, everything else becomes secondary.
-CB, Junior, Biology