Articles by Stan Dean

Vacations: Good and Bad

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The vacation season has officially arrived now and many of us will be taking a week or so during these summer months. Vacations can be fun and also beneficial to our well-being. My wife and I always look forward to taking a few days for “R&R” which is good for us in more ways than one. Not only is the trip enjoyable, it also helps to revitalize us so that we are more productive when we get back home. This is a “good” side of vacationing, but there is yet another side to consider.

Sometimes vacations are referred to as “getting away from it all.” I think I know what is meant, but the truth is we must not leave everything behind. Case in point, we do not go on vacation from our spiritual obligations. When we wear the name “Christian” it means that we are committed to Christ 24/7 wherever we might be. Apparently, some folks take the stance that what they do “out of town” doesn’t matter. That attitude reflects a “bad” side of vacationing, because our actions always matter!

First of all, what we do, whether in town or out of town, matters to God. To prove this point, Paul penned these stern words: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Secondly, how Christians conduct themselves, wherever they are, has an impact on others. Thus, letting our guard down can cause us to become a stumbling block to someone else.

For example, I once knew a man who had become unfaithful in his service to the Lord. The reason he gave for his unfaithfulness was his disappointment and discouragement of a former boss who was very active in church at home- - but would frequent the bars when on trips out-of-town. That man has passed from this life now but sadly, to my knowledge, he never made a spiritual recovery.

Every time I think of that man I am reminded of Jesus’ teachings about the impact of “spiritual vacations” which He calls “hypocrisy.” Note His words: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” ( Matthew 23:13).

So, as you see, the damage of bad (spiritual) vacations can be tremendous in our relationship with God and others. Therefore, my word of encouragement to all is: Have A GOOD Vacation!

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