Q. I was reading through James and stumbled upon James 4:4. I’ve been taught that having possessions and hobbies are okay, as long as they don’t become the center of my life and get in the way between me and God. But after reading this verse, I’ve found anything I do for fun to be a bit disconcerting. I know in all things I should act for the Lord, but if I’m just playing a sport or watching a movie, I find it hard to connect that with God in some way; it seems impossible. I was hoping for your respected opinion on this matter.
A. James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
I think your interpretation goes beyond the intent of this verse. It doesn’t mean that our every thought has to be oriented toward God or else we’re His enemy. It just means we should live our live according to Biblical principles, and make His will for us our primary concern, instead of lusting after the things of this world. There’s plenty of room in the Christian life for playing sports or watching movies or other such activities. Remember, Jesus said, “I have come so they could have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).