I am NOT a “Gamer,” so I went to a Christian website that reviews Video Games to see what they had to say about Dota 2. Though the game is “relatively mild” by today’s standards, they did issue some WARNINGS to Christians who may be playing this game. I’d like to ask some questions and cite scriptures which give us “principles” that we can apply, not only for video games, but also for movies, smart phones, computers, and other forms of entertainment.

1) Is it ADDICTIVE? This, perhaps, is the greatest snare when it comes to video games. A video game may be entertaining and relatively harmless, but one can easily become addicted to it. The apostle Paul addressed this subject in 1st Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I WILL NOT BE MASTERED BY ANYTHING” (NASB). As Christians we have the liberty to enjoy many things that aren’t sinful, but we must still ask ourselves, “Will it become my master?” In other words, will I become addicted to it? If so, it has become UNPROFITABLE to me. Again, this can happen with video games, movies, sports, and many other activities we engage in for entertainment.

2) Is it EDIFYING? Games of all kinds can become very COMPETITIVE, leading to PRIDE or ENVY, which is NOT EDIFYING. To “edify” means to “build up” and if gaming leads to pride or envy we are NOT being built up in Christ; rather we are allowing the flesh (which is the fallen, sinful nature we were born with) to act. The apostle Paul touches on this subject with a verse that is quite similar to the last one we considered; I’m speaking of 1st Corinthians 10:23, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but NOT ALL THINGS EDIFY” (NASB). Again, we may have the freedom to do it, but it may not lead to our being “built up on our most holy faith” (see Jude 20).

3) Is it CAUSING OTHERS TO STUMBLE? You may find that you are disciplined when playing video games and thus it doesn’t enslave you and lead to pride or envy, but it may cause others to stumble. Paul went on to say in 1st Corinthians 10:24, “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” He then spoke of how we must consider the conscience of those who are unsaved. He was using the liberty he had to eat meat offered to idols as an example and in verse 28-29 he said, “But if anyone says to you, ‘This meat is sacrificed to idols,’ do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s.” He concluded this subject in verses 31-33, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews, to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.” WE ARE BEING WATCHED, dear fellow-believers, and if our actions cause others (unsaved or saved) to criticize us and prevent them from listening to our testimony of Christ, we should be willing to give up our Christian liberty in whatever the activity may be.

4) Is it REDEEMING THE TIME? We are told in Ephesians 5:15-16, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TIME, because the days are evil” (NASB). I am sure the Lord would want us to have “time for leisure,” for He told His disciples in Mark 6:41: “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” But we can abuse this “liberty” too by “spending too much time” on entertainment. As believers we will give an account to God for the “free time” He gave to us, time which should certainly include reading His Word, praying, having fellowship with other believers, and witnessing to lost souls. We need to MAKE THE MOST OF OUR TIME! I’m quite sure that when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to have our lives reviewed to determine the rewards we’ll receive, no one will be saying, “I wish I hadn’t spent so much time serving the Lord.”  (202.5)  (DO)