Fantasy and Temperance

By Brent King On August 21, 2014 Under Christian Fantasy

midnight readingSome mark all fantasy as an evil influence and a worthless waste of time. Those of us who read and write fantasy know that this is not the truth. Imagination can be redemptive as well as destructive.

However, There Are Dangers

While much has been said about fantasy’s amazing ability to teach truth and we love to laud its graces, treacherous reefs lie just below the surface of its sea. They wait to shipwreck the unsuspecting and naïve. While some may say that the worst of these reefs is a secular world-view, I see more peril on another shoal.

The Biggest Danger, I Believe, is Intemperance: Imbalance

We have all experienced the obsessive power of imagination: the game or book that kept us up till 5am when we had to go to school or work at 8. So strong is its pull, that many a youth (or adult) is caught in its undertow, wasting weeks, months, even years engulfed in a fantasy world.

For some it is food. For others it is sports. There are multitudes of compulsive activities that keep us from living life to the fullest. Fantasy is not low on this list (especially for males).

What is the Answer then? gaming addiction

It is one that most of our parents try to teach us. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Most of us spend a lifetime mastering it. It is self-control. The benefits of fantasy gaming and reading are great, but only if done in a controlled manner, being careful to balance them with other important things in life.

Why am I Picking on Fantasy?

Exciting fantasy games and stories can instruct our lives, but they can also waste them. Since there is this danger, I believe we need to be vigilant. In doing so, we will protect our beloved genre from an evil that would undermine it and use it for destruction instead of for redemption.

Have you, or your kids, struggled with this monster in entertainment? Am I the only one?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. AshleeW
    August 22, 2014
    1:29 am #comment-1

    So, so true! My son and I had a conversation today about “moderation.” Okay, it was him asking what it was, and me explaining 🙂 It’s so important to be vigilant about what we put into our minds and how we spend our time, and it’s so easy to slip sideways in this society that gives us so many options for escaping from real life. Great reminder. Thanks, Brent 🙂

    • Brent King
      August 22, 2014
      4:48 am #comment-2

      My kids still struggle with it, as do I. It’s not an easy thing. I have always said that the fruits of the Spirit would be easy if God would just scratch patience and self-control! Why, oh why did He have to include those in the script?! Thankfully, His Spirit not only helps us, but our kids too (through our prayers).

  2. Tyrean
    August 25, 2014
    1:50 pm #comment-3

    I’ve definitely struggled with it. I love to read fiction and although that can be wonderful, it can also become addictive and consuming. I try to “fast” from fiction reading at least a few weeks out of every year to practice self-control.

    • Brent King
      August 25, 2014
      2:29 pm #comment-4

      That’s a great idea, Tyrean. I try to give other important things – like bible reading, prayer, family, ministry, exercise, and music/language/dance classes, etc – fair pieces of my day. And when I fail, I try not to beat myself up. Why is balance in life so hard?

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