Recently I’ve experienced more freedom in opening up to others and having fun. The fun could involve cracking a joke or making a fool of myself in front of a group of people. But people could question my motives behind these actions. Am I just trying to get attention from people? Trying to inflate my ego?
There likely are times when I am led by these types of motives. But there are also other motives that drive me to have fun:
The motive to tear down misconceptions about Christians
Many people perceive Christians as people who never have fun. I could see how people could think that way. Besides, what’s fun about going to church? And why are people never allowed to mosh at Christian concerts? Plus Christians don’t let loose in bars!
When someone with this perception sees Christians actually having fun together, the person can be surprised by the whole experience. That experience allows someone to see Christians – and perhaps Christianity – in a whole new light. But for me the experience doesn’t involve getting drunk just to show people how much “fun” you can be – it involves my next motive.
The motive to provide an alternative source of fun for others
From my experience in the business field, I know that for many people fun consists of a specific formula. After work, go to happy hour. On the weekends, go out to bars or clubbing. Basically, these places provide opportunities to talk and to momentarily escape from “the real world” with the aid of alcohol.
I want people to see that it’s possible to have fun beyond the obligatory bar-hop. That desire drives me to enjoy different types of events that don’t involve heavy drinking, and to invite other people to those events. Even a conversation about what I did over the weekend could cause someone to see that there is opportunity to have fun beyond the bars.
The motive to live under the joy found in Christ
There is profound joy in knowing who Jesus Christ is, and living under the freedom he provides. This freedom is not found in living without constraints. It is found when living under appropriate constraints that allow joy to be maximized and harm to be minimized.
When I am having fun under these constraints, I can experience the joy that Christ provides in a tangible way. These experiences lead to gratitude towards God – I’m actually drawn closer to him, especially when I can have fun without worry about what other people are thinking about me.
These three motives lead me to put high importance on fun. It’s not the most important thing to me – I often skip fun events for the sake of spending time on something I consider more important. But it still ranks as one of the main things I want my life to be remembered for.
At the same time, I recognize I’m not always led by these motives when having fun. Desires to be liked and noticed by people may seep in as well. So should I stop having fun out of fear of having the wrong motives?
I don’t think so. I will often have mixed motives in the things I do in life. And I often won’t know which mix is leading me at any one moment!
But through the mix of motives, God’s grace is present. He sees me the same way whether I have the right or wrong motives behind what I’m doing. I can take action even when I lack perfection.
Whatever my motive may be, I know there are incredible things that can happen out of having fun. It can build relationships and lead people closer to knowing Christ. So I carry on – having fun and enjoying the life God has given me.