But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ And the slave came back and reported this to his master. (Luke 14:16-21 NASB)Country Magazine is more dangerous to your spiritual fruitfulness than Playboy. Playboy is evil and Country is innocent, but its very innocence makes it dangerous. Most people will avoid the obvious danger of Playboy, but you can spend your entire life on innocent pleasures, and never do anything valuable or helpful for God or your fellow man. Playboy will put you in jail (spiritually), but Country will put you to sleep. I am not saying that reading Playboy is no worse than reading Country. Playboy is far worse, but its obvious badness means fewer are captured by it.
The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for Heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife. The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable…“The pleasures of this life” … are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God.’ (John Piper, Hunger forGod, 14-15)Some more examples (so that I don't just pick on Country).
- Golf is more dangerous to Christians than gambling.
- Cake is more dangerous than beer.
- Having pets is more likely to harm your spiritual health than having tattoos.
- For married people, pleasing your spouse can be a bigger danger than adultery.
- For single people, triviality is more likely to waste your life than immorality.
No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Tim 2:4 NASB)