Video from Desiring God
Is My Painting Hobby a Wartime Waste? - Ask Pastor John
"Welcome back to the podcast. Is the hobby of watercolor painting a wartime waste of time and money? That’s the question today from a listener named Amy. “Pastor John, hello to you, and thank you for your ministry over these many years,” she writes. “I have benefitted greatly from it. Your ‘seashells’ message was especially profound to me.” Yes, one of the classic John Piper sermons, which is titled, “Boasting Only in the Cross,” preached on May 20, 2000. “But that sermon left me with a lingering question I’ve never resolved. Would you consider all hobbies, like seashell collecting, a waste of life?
“I ask because I recently took up watercolor painting. I keep asking myself, Does this glorify God? And to what purpose does this further his kingdom? I’m not sure it does. Painting is a relaxing stress-reliever for me, and I have enjoyed using it to make homemade cards for people. But it seems it’s mostly for my benefit and enjoyment. You clearly have a category for hobbies — when Tony recently asked you to name your favorite hobbies, you said Scrabble with Noël and making your yard look perfect (in APJ 1882). So, what guidelines can you offer us wartime Christians to discern when hobbies are God-glorifying and when they become life-wasting?”
When I first tackled this question nine years ago on APJ, I was reading biographies at the time — books about Hudson Taylor and by Hudson Taylor, the missionary. And I think Hudson Taylor, at that time and now (if he were alive), would answer this question pretty bluntly and say, “Come on, come on, let’s give our lives for the cause of the gospel, especially world evangelization.” So, I have that ringing in my ears even to this day. And I don’t want to soft-pedal how radical the Christian life is by being culturally adapting as a Christian and ignoring the horrific plight of the lost and the unreached of this world.
But here’s what I think needs to be said biblically. (We want to be biblical and not just draw out our own inferences from situations that may not accord with God’s word.).." from the Transcript