Today’s Scripture: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

There are sports fans. There are crazy sports fans. And then there are fanatics. For example, there were soccer fans in China who were willing to give anything to see their team compete in the World Cup. One man refused to let the small matter of his house bursting into flames keep him from his favorite pastime. Ignoring his wife and child, he grabbed his TV, fled from the burning home, and desperately began his search for an electric socket. Another man turned down a lucrative raise at his company to spend a month watching the World Cup. Last but not least in the fanaticism was the Chinese husband who signed a contract with his wife that kept her doing the chores the entire month of soccer season.

These are pretty extreme examples of going overboard, but how often do we put our hobbies above what is really important? It’s different for everyone. What may be an obsession for some may not be for another.

In our heart of hearts, we all know when we’re neglecting what’s important in favor of what’s not. Whether it’s too much time at the office, too much time in front of the TV, or too much time at the golf course or in the fishing boat-we have to periodically examine our priorities. Are our pursuits hurting the people God has called us to care for? Are others suffering as a result of our poor choices?

Hobbies are wonderful. Leisure is good. Sports are exciting. But when they come before people, we have a problem.

Let’s pray and ask God to give us the proper balance today.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.