faith, hobbies, illness

Hobby Snobbery: Judging Other People’s Hobbies

I was an avid reader in high school.

If I wasn’t writing, I was reading. So much so, that I remember my father saying I needed to find a more productive hobby. He said I was spending too much time reading, lost in my own world and not enough time doing something in the real world.

He seemed happier when I took up drawing and drafting as it produced actual results and had marketable skills with more promise than being a published author (my goal in high school).

I did fulfill my goal, getting published at age 19.

Reading, to me, was equivalent to work study. I was studying how published authors used words because I wanted to be published, too.

At age 20, I got married, and we decided to start a family. The goal of writing was put on the back burner as babies and home management took priority. Along with writing, reading took a back seat.

Eventually, my autoimmune illness took over my life, and reading was no longer even a viable hobby.

I got to the point that I couldn’t read: I couldn’t bring words into my mind and follow ideas even across multiple paragraphs –let alone pages.

This made homeschooling hard for me, because I couldn’t read out loud either. Bringing words in my eyes and out my mouth didn’t work anymore.

Brain fog is really not fun.

Debilitated, weak, and struggling to walk, I turned to watching TV to pass the time. There’s a reason that there aren’t books in hospital rooms. A TV was just easier on my brain.

That’s when I started to really notice that people were snobs about their hobbies.

I was treated as less because I watched TV and movies instead of reading.

It didn’t matter what I was watching. It didn’t matter that I’m incredibly careful about what I watch.

It didn’t matter that some people read garbage that’s far worse than what I would ever consider watching on TV.

Reading was considered a superior hobby, and I was considered less for watching TV. Even though my version of TV is carefully chosen movies and TV shows on Netflix

This mentality is everywhere.

For example, the person who hunts and fishes is considered better than someone who does computer programming.

A child who plays with Legos or draws is considered better than a child who plays video games.

These are just a few examples. I’m sure I could come up with many more.

Hunting is absolutely a superior hobby, right? More godly, right? Because no one ever gets drunk while hunting, right? No one ever tells inappropriate jokes or sits around bashing spouses while hunting, right?

So, hunting is a holy hobby and computers are innately evil –like all technology– pulling us away from God.

Or at least that’s the attitude of a lot of Christians.

Here’s the problem with the above mentality: hobbies are, for the most part, amoral.

They are neither good or bad.

They just are.

Scripture is silent on the topic of hobbies. 

What’s more important is what you choose to do while engaging in your hobby.

Whatever we do, it should be honoring to God

Could you read a book and be sinning or dishonoring God? Absolutely. So, be wise about your choices.

Could you watch a TV show and be sinning and dishonoring God? Absolutely. So, be wise about your choices.

Could video games or any toy become so engrossing and such an obsession that a child could be sinning and dishonoring God? Absolutely. So, teach your children to be wise about their choices.

But, stop assuming everyone is sinning simply because they don’t participate in your preferred hobby.

Any hobby can become a stumbling block if we take our eyes of Christ and become wrapped up in our own flesh and this world.

A hobby can also become a stumbling block when you are arrogant about it and look down on other people instead of doing everything for God’s glory.

Those who declare their hobby better and that other people are sinning or less holy are blind to their own sin: pride.

Stop judging other people’s stewardship.

Unless you have solid proof that someone is sinning, you better keep your unbiblical opinion to yourself.

Certain personalities prefer certain types of hobbies.

You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re not entitled to accuse others of sin when there’s no proof –only your own prejudice. Even if they were sinning, it would not be okay to mistreat people.

When in doubt, be kind and give grace.

 

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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