Testimony Treasures, vol. 1


Christian Recreation*

I have been thinking what a contrast would be seen between our gathering here today and such gatherings as they are generally conducted by unbelievers. Instead of prayer, and the mention of Christ and religious things, would be heard silly laughter and trifling conversation. Their object would be to have a general high time. It would commence in folly and end in vanity. We want to have these gatherings so conducted, and to so conduct ourselves, that we can return to our homes with a conscience void of offense toward God and man; a consciousness that we have not wounded nor injured in any manner those with whom we have associated, or had an injurious influence over them. 1TT 282.1

Here is where very many fail. They do not consider that they are accountable for the influence they daily exert; that they must render an account to God for the impressions they make, and the influence they cast, in all their associations in life. If this influence is such as shall have a tendency to draw the minds of others away from God and attract them into the channel of vanity and folly, leading them to seek their own pleasure in amusements and foolish indulgences, they must give an account for this. And if these persons are men and women of influence, if their position is such that their example will affect others, then a greater sin will rest upon them for neglecting to regulate their conduct by the Bible standard. 1TT 282.2

The occasion we are enjoying today is just according to my ideas of recreation. I have tried to give my views upon this subject, but they are better illustrated than expressed. I was on this ground about one year ago when there was a gathering similar to this. Nearly everything passed off very pleasantly then, but still some things were objectionable. Considerable jesting and joking were indulged in by some. All were not Sabbathkeepers, and an influence was manifest that was not as pleasant as we could wish. 1TT 283.1

But I believe that, while we are seeking to refresh our spirits and invigorate our bodies, we are required of God to use all our powers at all times to the best purpose. We may associate together as we do here today, and do all to the glory of God. We can and should conduct our recreations in such a manner that we shall be fitted for the more successful discharge of the duties devolving upon us, and that our influence shall be more beneficial upon those with whom we associate. Especially should it be the case upon an occasion like this, which should be of good cheer to us all. We can return to our homes improved in mind and refreshed in body, and prepared to engage in the work anew, with better hope and better courage. 1TT 283.2

We believe that it is our privilege every day of our lives to glorify God upon the earth; that we are not to live in this world merely for our own amusement, merely to please ourselves. We are here to benefit humanity, to be a blessing to society. And if we should let our minds run in that low channel in which many who are seeking only vanity and folly permit their minds to run, how could we be a blessing to society, a benefit to our race and generation? We cannot innocently indulge in any amusement which will unfit us for the more faithful discharge of ordinary life duties. 1TT 283.3

We want to seek the elevated and lovely. We want to direct the mind away from those things that are superficial and of no importance, that have no solidity. What we desire is, to be gathering new strength from all that we engage in. From all these gatherings for the purpose of recreation, from all these pleasant associations, we want to be gathering new strength to become better men and women. From every source possible we want to gather new courage, new strength, new power, that we may elevate our lives to purity and holiness, and not come down upon the low level of this world. ... 1TT 283.4