“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you,
live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,
but rather give place unto wrath:
for it is written, Vengeance is mine;
I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger,
feed him; if he thirst, give him drink:
for in so doing thou shalt
heap coals of fire on his head.”
Hobbies can be peaceful and enjoyable ventures, but they are not the source of our peace. Good thing, because, not everyone has time, money, or the desire for them. They can often be used to help us get away from our difficulties and responsibilities. While they bring joy and relaxation, they’re not what keeps us living peacefully with ourselves or others.
Hobbies do give us a break from our day to day routines. However, busying ourselves with projects and pastimes to avoid facing our emotional, mental, physical, and relational issues doesn’t solve our struggles. It just postpones them.
Relaxing pursuits may distract, entertain, and soothe us for a while, but, eventually, we have to deal with our pressures, people, or problems to maintain true peace.
This may sound crazy but, sometimes, my hobbies stress me out. (Which kinda defeats the purpose of a hobby, don’t you think?) I enjoy making things and being creative, but over the last few years, my hobbies haven’t brought me the calming joy they used to.
I’ve been realizing that the problem wasn’t my hobbies. It was my heart. I’ve had to face and deal with issues with others and myself. My hobbies couldn’t relieve my pain or mend my relationships. I had to let God and his Word help me.
I’m my worst enemy. I fight against my confidence and creativity. I shoot down my ideas and dreams. I talk myself out of doing things I’d really like to do. Then, feel guilty for not trying them. I can disturb my own peace.
After facing my hurts and fears, I’ve begun to re-evaluate my hobbies, and the impact they have on my life, by asking questions like:
- Are they taking up too much time and space?
- Am I putting them before others?
- Are they nurturing a healthy lifestyle?
- Which ones compliment my life’s goals and desires?
- Which ones should I do, donate, or discard?
- Is God pleased with what I’m doing with my free time?
- Am I truly enjoying the activity?
- Could I build new or stronger relationships with them?
Hobbies are like a cool drink of water or a tasty, healthy meal that feeds me motivation and feelings of accomplishment. When I keep them in balance with a healthy daily schedule and don’t lose sight of my priorities, they are quite enjoyable.
Like most things I pursue in my life, I prefer that my hobbies be simple and easy to navigate. If they become too complicated, I lose interest and they become just another chore.
Our hobbies should encourage peacefulness in our hearts and with others. They should nurture our lives, not fight against our responsibilities and restfulness.
Hobbies should never make us or others feel guilty, neglected, or resentful. We should handle them appropriately. They should never take precedence over our spiritual lives, relationships, or responsibilities.
It is possible to live peaceably while enjoying our hobbies. They can also be a great tool for building relationships.
Bring It Home
Are you at peace with your hobbies?
Praying for you as we grow together,