What Do You Do for Fun?

The Bible tells the story of Jacob. As a younger man he had taken advantage of his twin brother and extorted from him the major share of the family inheritance. A little while later he fooled his aged father, cheated the brother out of further blessing and then fled the country. Now, twenty years later, he must return to face his twin which has him scared witless (Gen. 25, 27, 32). Had Jacob been upright he wouldn’t have been worried sick. It’s true, ‘Conscience doth make cowards of us all.’ (This may be why Jacob later said “unpleasant have been the years of my life” [47:9].  Also consider Joseph’s brothers [42:21-22; 44:16; 50:15-18]. - TN)

Our mouths go dry, our pulse hammers in our throat just at the thought of our shame being discovered. We imagine people are talking about us, snubbing us, avoiding us. A letter not answered or a phone call not returned torment us with the thought that our ‘secret’ is known. The pain we endure as a result of our lack of honor so far outweighs any pleasure dishonor brings that it’s a wonder any of us stoops to being treacherous.

The young man tried to talk the young lady into sexual intercourse but she wouldn’t hear tell of it. Then he offered her booze she wouldn’t touch. A little later he wanted to share some marijuana with her, but she turned that down, too. By this time he was thoroughly disgusted and sulkily demanded to know what she did for fun. She said:

“I never have to worry about being diseased or pregnant; and that’s fun! That means I don’t have to wrestle with a decision to abort an unwanted baby; and that’s fun. And I don’t have to wonder if I’m being pawed over by someone who might not want to know me a couple of months from now; and that’s fun. I never have any difficulty remembering what I did the night before and who I did it with; and that’s fun too. And I’m looking forward to the day when I can give myself totally to my husband rather than give a panicky fraction of me in the back seat of some car; and that’s fun. I can hardly wait, but I will. I won’t ever have to worry about getting a blood test that tells me I have AIDS or some other venereal disease; and believe me, that’s fun. My parents love me more than I can say, and if I were to get into trouble of any kind they’d be right there with me; but I never have to worry about seeing them crushed and shamed by some disgraceful behavior of mine; and believe me - as much as I love them - that’s really fun.”

I’ve taken a beating when I was innocent, and I’ve taken a beating when I was guilty; and I can tell you, there’s no fun in being beaten when you’ve asked for it. At least when you’re innocent in the matter, you can always go away from the beating with the inner comfort that this time, if the truth were known, you suffered in innocence. And that, even in the midst of pain, is fun!