Some people are like dry, hard ground. Television, game machines, and other leisure activities have reduced their lives to near worthlessness. God’s people, however, cultivate themselves.
Uncultivated people become more like themselves everyday. They follow the animal passions. The take the path of least resistance. They go with the flow.
Leaders cultivate. Winners practice. Christians grow themselves.
Learn new skills
My parents raised us in a cultivated environment. I grew up with an incessant desire to improve myself by learning, practice, and self-discipline. I studied Hebrew, Bible doctrine, dog training, and much more before I turned 15. I learned skills such as juggling, skateboarding, and unicycling. I memorized major portions of scripture and learned to use many complicated reference works.
I believe life should be an ongoing process of growth. What we do with our free time determines how useful and influential we will be in life.
Do not waste potential
Many women hit adulthood and become meaningless moms. They stop learning and just live in Facebook. My wife has learned a host of things about high-class cooking. Many folks seek her out for natural cures to common health issues. She is currently becoming a self-studied expert on organic gardening. When her nest is empty she will not be another old lady sitting around the house who only knows how to clean. While children and grandchildren make life meaningful in themselves, we need to cultivate ourselves to serve them better.
Too many guys work the same job forever and come home at night to just veg out. They plop on the couch and watch TV or netflicks. They learn nothing new and take no challenges. Our lazy, have fun society is robbing us of precious potential. Learn a hobby. Volunteer for a charitable organization (like your church). Invent something useful.
Amusement is dangerous
In his book Ordering Your Private World, MacDonald defines “amusement” in an interesting way. He points out that the prefix “a-” often means ‘without,’ and “muse” means ‘a thought.’ So, to amuse oneself is to be ‘without thought.’ Idle amusements are meant for people who do not think.
A child of God should not live for amusement or entertainment. We should put our heads in gear. Do you want to avoid temptation? Stop looking for fun and find meaning in life. Memorize the Word of God. Cultivate a deep appreciation for the Scriptures in study and research. Read a good book every week or at least every month. Pray daily. Take time for fasting. If you have kids, learn a new skill or start a project with them. Help them learn character.
Sewing, crochet, gardening
Turkey hunting, fly fishing
Landscaping, computer repair
Video editing, website design
New language, musical instrument
Teach a home Bible study
Read books by Pentecostals
Cultivate good kids
If you do not help your kids find meaning in life they will be discipline problems. A wild, disobedient child has been left to himself, that’s why he brings his mother to shame (Proverbs 29:15). Give your children a challenge to accomplish, beyond the DS or Wii. While I do not encourage parents to beat their family to death with sports and civic groups, parents should not just let the kids go to seed, either.
Teach them chess or volleyball. Take your boys mowing lawns on the weekend. First, teach them to perfect your lawn so they qualify. Teach your girls to quilt and make a masterpiece to hang in the living room. Take up a foreign language together or practice singing harmony. Ages ago, every child learned music, voice, speech, and good manners. Now, most have no clue about any of those.
Prayerfully consider what your home is cultivating. Then get out the plow.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.