by Adam Kronberger / Head of School
I am a big fan of games, whether they are around a kitchen table or a physical activity. While they may carry limited meaning in and of themselves, they are excellent at revealing character and providing training in Godliness. Take the popular game GaGa Ball (a variation of Dodgeball in an octagon). When I play and get squarely hit by the ball, I am out and immediately exit the playing area. But if I am only “nicked” by the ball and nobody notices, my initial response in the flesh is to quickly look around and determine if others have noticed. If my survey reveals nothing, there is the temptation to simply continue my play. If nobody saw it, did it really happen? Isn’t it OK unless I get caught?
Paul writes to Timothy, “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Godliness may be best defined as Devotion in Action. As Christians, so often we know more than we do. The heart is most reflected by what we show, not by what we know. In that moment of playing GaGa Ball, I get to choose to allow God to truly reign on the throne of my life, or for my selfish desires to maintain me on the throne. I get to choose to either sow to please the flesh and ultimately reap destruction, or sow to please the Spirit and ultimately reap eternal life.
This is what makes games so much more than simple play. For children especially, they help define truth and sin, or the proverbial right and wrong. They highlight deficiencies in character such as love, kindness, patience, and forgiveness. But they also teach so much about grace and the eternal nature and divine power of God and salvation through His son Jesus Christ.
Even as an adult, I am constantly reminded that I continue to be in process as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The rules don’t help make us more Godly, but they may help us understand where need growth. Whether GaGa ball or making an entertainment selection, when I put myself first over God, my flesh tightens its hold on my heart. But when I choose to demonstrate devotion in action, something releases inside of me providing the freedom from the bondage of sin Jesus came to provide.