Games People Play

Bill Brinkworth

One of the best things about being a child is playing games. There is not much learned by doing them, or any great future benefit. They are just fun.

Unfortunately, people grow-up and still play similar games. These real-life games hurt real people, when they are “played”. Much of the time, they are performed to get something that is wanted; to protect one’s self from hurt and embarrassment, or a host of other reasons. Even when one is saved and becomes a Christian, the games sometimes continue to be played. Some of these adult-versions of childhood games include:

Charades . You remember the game. The person stands in front of others, and acts like another person, creature, or event. Their audience has to guess what they are conveying from their acting.

Too many play “charades” in real-life. They act as if they are someone else. Sometimes their whole life is spent acting like someone else, and you do not know who they really are. Some even act like Christians, when they are not. They “talk the talk” and “walk the walk”, at least on Sunday. The rest of the week, when they are not in front of the crowd they are performing for, they are a completely different person.

Freeze tag. That game was a lot of fun to play. When you were tagged, you had to “freeze” in the position you were in until you were touched by someone from your team.

The adult version is not much different. A person goes through their life, and maybe is saved and starts growing in the things of God. They start reading their Bible, go to church, and start obeying things the Holy Spirit shows them. Then someone does something that affects them, or they get their feelings hurt, and their growth stops until someone smoothes their ruffled feathers or calms their wounded spirit. Sometimes they spend their whole life stalled at one spiritual level and never grow anymore.

Hide and Seek. The adult version of the child’s version of the game is not much different from “freeze tag” and the outcome is similar. The “player” gets hurt and is never seen again. They drop out of church, hinder their spiritual growth, and remain spiritually the same for years. Sometimes they get “found” and get back in to a normal life, but sadly, many remain out of sight.

Simon Says. A leader would do some action and the players would do it only if the leader would say, “Simon says.” In the real world, this may be one of the popular responses to peer pressures. People dress, talk, walk, listen, believe, and live like everyone else, or the way they perceive they are expected to live. Music, clothing, and many other industries thrive on this way of life.

King of the Hill. This was one of the more violent games. One would stand at the top of a hill or mound of dirt. The others would attack him and push him off his roost and attempt to obtain his position. The game would continue until one was able to maintain his lofty position. Usually, it was because others were too tired to wrestle anymore for the position.

Unfortunately, there is a real-life version of this game. Many times, it is propelled by jealousy or covetousness. Someone desired another’s job, position, or recognition. Instead of wrestling to bring the leader down, the position is sometimes obtained by ridiculing or gossiping against those they are trying to dethrone. Too many reputations have been shattered by unwarranted rumors. Too many pastors have become the subject of this “game”.

Dodge Ball. Dodge ball was another violent game that was not fun for many. Those that could avoid being hit, yet hit others with a rubber ball enjoyed it though. The winner was the one that was not hit as much as others and got all others out.

The real-life version of this game is not much different then King of the Hill. Others are attacked, not by a ball, but by vicious accusations, slanderous remarks, or deceitful actions. The result is still the same; someone else is hurt so someone can “win”.

 

More child-hood games could certainly be related to common, adult behavior. Dishonest, unkind, unchristian, and selfish actions are committed for many, unrecreational reasons.

Sometimes folks may not know why they take the actions they do. It is not always simple to discern why a “game” is played. Most of the time, one claims his actions are justified. “If I don’t go after his job, someone else will,” or “if I’m myself, people will laugh at me.” Some of the reactions for some situations are “natural” reactions, but to Christians, we are not to always do what is natural. “Everyone else is doing it,” is not good enough for us. We do not always have to have our way.

Studying Bible teachings and being in constant prayer can show us how we are to handle the difficulties in life. It will take patience to wait for God’s solution.

Biblically, and if one wants to please God, the end never justifies the means. It is never okay with God to do something wrong; even if the results are something that is right. God loves righteousness. His desire is that we live that way. “If I tell the truth, I’ll get in trouble.” God is always able to take a seemingly impossible conclusion to a situation and make it possible. He is also quite capable of giving us grace and allowing us to go through a situation, even when we think we cannot.

God made us the way He planned. He gave us the ability and personality we would need to accomplish the tasks He has for us to accomplish. He has never made a mistake and forgotten to give us what we would need for our lives. We do have what we need.

Sometimes getting through a situation and doing it God’s way gives us other tools we will need for other obstacles we will face. These tools include character and trust. We need to draw close to Him, live life the way he requires, and He will see us through. We do not to need to “play games.

This article was featured in The Bible View #105.

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