Billy Graham Answers: Is It OK to Have Secular Hobbies?

The Rev. Billy Graham
Evangelist Billy Graham speaks at the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 31, 2007. |

God doesn't mind if his followers have hobbies outside of church, as long as they maintain a Christ-centered perspective throughout their week, the Rev. Billy Graham says.

The famed evangelist recently responded to a question from one believer who asked if God cares that Christians take interest in activities that are not related to the church.

The 97-year-old preacher replied by saying that, "God doesn't look down on you just because you enjoy activities that aren't directly related to your church (as long as they're honorable)," pointing specifically to John 2:1-12 that details Jesus' first miracle while he attended a friend's wedding.

Graham goes on to say that while God encourages Christians to take interest in leisurely interests outside of church, that is not license to forget God and his teachings immediately after leaving worship service each Sunday.

"[Is] He at the center of your lives, influencing everything you do?" Graham questioned, adding that "life's greatest joy comes from knowing God loves us and doing His will."

"He loves us so much that Jesus Christ, His only Son, gave His life for our salvation. By a simple prayer of faith commit your lives to Him as your Savior and Lord," the Southern Baptist minister added.

Graham has previously communicated the importance of making God the center of one's life to achieve happiness.

While many people search for joy in all the wrong places, including "an unwise relationship or an immoral action," ultimately it is their connection with God that will bring them eternal happiness, Graham wrote in May 2015.

To obtain everyday happiness, Graham encourages Christians to look to God and the Bible for guidance.

"I urge you to turn to Jesus Christ and commit your life to Him […] Make Christ, and not yourself, the center and foundation of your life," Graham says, encouraging Christians to "then ask God to teach you His wisdom every day — wisdom that comes from His Word, the Bible. Make the Bible your daily guide, and seek to apply its truths to your life."

While Christians may feel like such advice amounts to a set of rules and regulations, Graham wrote in April 2015 that the purpose of his message is to encourage believers to look beyond the temporal comforts of this world.

"[…] you can be so filled with the things of Christ, so enamored with the things of God that you do not have time for the sinful pleasures of this world," the evangelical leader wrote last April, adding that "the demand for pleasure and amusement [in this world] poses a problem to those who desire to live a life pleasing to Jesus Christ."

"There must be an out-and-out stand for Christ. It does not mean that in society we are snobs or have a superiority complex, lest we be in danger of spiritual pride. But today there are so many professing Christians who are walking hand in hand with this present evil world that you cannot tell the difference between the Christian and the sinner. This should never be," Graham wrote.

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