Relaxation is not a sin

Published 8:09 am Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham


Dear Rev. Graham: It was a wake-up call to me when someone asked how I spent my time. Other than my 40 hours of work each week, I couldn’t answer. I’m not sure that my life is really making a difference in spite of the fact that I work hard at my job. Is it wrong to stay busy doing things like sports and watching TV to relax? – N.A.

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Dear N.A.: A little exercise can be helpful when we’re accounting for our time. Taking a piece of paper and writing down all the things a person does in an average 24-hour day – sleeping, eating, working, shopping, exercising, watching television, surfing the internet, and so on, can help us determine what occupies our minds and influences our thinking.

Many will find after reviewing the list that a good bit of time is spent on things that really aren’t important. Some things may be morally or spiritually harmful. Relaxation is not a sin, but wasting time does not help build a strong foundation. The Bible tells us to use our time wisely and with great care. “Walk circumspectly [carefully], not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NKJV).

To redeem the time means to make the most of it, to invest each minute in quality activities, not junk. We should always set aside time for God. Many people relegate God to spare time – but end up never having any. Some have actually said, “I don’t have time for the things of God … look at all I’m doing!”

Jesus told His disciples, “Come with me … to a quiet place” (Mark 6:31, NIV). Make it a habit to read God’s Word and spend time in prayer. It will change your life!


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)