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Video Game Question

Discussion in 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' started by NoahSK, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    Hello. So here is another thing I’ve been pondering about lately. I used to play video games ALOT, and they were definitely my main priority. Several months ago, when I started questioning and doubting my salvation and doing all of this OCD stuff, I kept thinking about the part of the Bible where Jesus tells the rich man to sell all he owns to follow Him, and I started going crazy about if I needed to give up anything or everything, what to give up, etc. in my life. My first thought went to video games, since they were what I spent most of my time doing. At first I thought I was fine to keep playing the games, and I tried to start playing them less, as well as change the games I was playing, because I used to play some more mature games, some with occult themes (Diablo, Doom).

    Before I go on, I need to mention that at this time I was going through rapid highs and lows regarding my salvation: one moment I would feel that I was totally saved and fine, and the next I would feel like I was in the pit of hell on earth.

    Anyway, it was in one of my low points that I made the decision that I was never going to play another video game in my life. My logic was that maybe the reason I was still feeling these lows was because there was something between me and God, or maybe God was using these lows to point the video game thing out to me, or that perhaps I wasn’t saved and couldn’t be until I fully gave up games. I don’t remember if I specifically made a promise to God about giving up completely, but I might have made a vow to never play again. I don’t know, but ever since then I stopped playing video games completely, although it’s been a real struggle. I tried to stay away from anything even remotely related. Basically anything that was virtual and interactive, I would run from. It’s been a struggle; I used to play with one of my Christian friends and it was cool. Now we just play board games and stuff. There were times when I began to wonder whether maybe God would allow me to play games again, albeit in moderation, but I never really felt peace one way or the other, so I decided better safe than sorry.

    The main thing that keeps me from playing is fear that God will be angry with me or do something to me if I started playing again, like maybe I’d lose my salvation if I started playing again or something. I don’t know. Anyways, that’s what has been my main motivator for not playing. A part of me wants to start playing again, but the other part of me is scared of what might happen if I do. I’m scared that it will mean I’m not saved, that I love them more than God, stuff like that.

    One time, I began to cry (pathetic, I know) because I felt like I was a prisoner being unable to do what I wanted (and it didn’t help that literally my whole family plays video games non stop, well, at least my siblings do). So I am constantly being subject to them, while also not allowing myself to play them, and it hurts. But I reasoned that if I wanted to play this badly, it meant that I shouldn’t start playing.

    One thing I noticed is that abstaining from video games hasn’t really brought me closer to God. Instead of filling that time with praying and reading the Word, I fill it with YouTube, Netflix, and, worst of all, porn. Yes; recently I’ve begun to watch porn again, and I’m not sure on this, but it may have gotten worse since I stopped playing games. I think games distracted me from my sexual desire to some extent, and since abstaining it has crept back up. Don’t quote me on this, though, this could just be an excuse my mind randomly made up.

    So now I’m stuck; I don’t know whether to keep abstaining from games, or start playing again in MODERATION. My parents say that it’s fine if it’s in moderation, but I’m more worried about what God would think. Am I being to legalistic with what I’m doing? Is not playing due to fear of eternal consequences me trying to earn or maintain my own salvation? Am I trusting my own ability to not play games to keep me saved? I don’t know what to do.

    I think the main reason I stopped playing games was that I was trying to show God what I was willing to give up to be saved or whatever. Funny; I’m better at abstaining from video games, which aren’t in themselves inherently sinful, than I am at abstaining from porn, which is obviously sin.

    Anyone have any thoughts on what I should do?
     
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  2. .Mikha'el.

    .Mikha'el. Mod Queue Spam Troll Banner Extraordinaire! Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    I think He was saying we don't necessarily need to give things up to follow Him, but that we have to be willing and prepared to do so if He asks. The Almighty never actually expected Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but admired and appreciated his willingness to do so. The important thing, I think, is to play video games in moderation, and not be addicted or consumed by them so they can't be a kind of idol.
     
  3. Gingerine

    Gingerine New Member

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    I too am struggling with an OCD problem at the moment. In fact you can see one of most recent posts on here today! I'm trying to snap out of that and I want to impart any knowledge I've gained from my condition to help you. I've been struggling with this since I was twelve or so and God has brought me so far and I trust He will do the same for you.
    You and I are similar in that we both use bible verses to fuel our obsessions. Subconsciously of course.
    Now, since your concern focuses around what Jesus said to the rich man I will discuss that for a bit. First, how does Jesus say we get saved? By believing in Him not by works. Jesus is also not opposed to wealthy people in general, some of His followers were very rich and if God disliked possessions why would He let Solomon be so wealthy? Now lets look at Matthew 19:

    16Just then, a man came up to Jesus and inquired, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?”

    17“Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Jesus replied, “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

    18“Which ones?” the man asked.

    Jesus answered, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, 19honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.’d

    20“All these I have kept,” said the young man. “What do I still lack?”

    21Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”

    22When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth.

    23Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    25When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

    26But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
    did Jesus say that to the rich man? A pastor once said it was because He wanted to show him how much he needed a Savior. The man had a lot going for him but he was not perfect, not by a long stretch. So Jesus told him to give up everything he had if he wanted to be perfect and then follow Him. This revealed an discrepancy in the man's insistence that he had kept all the commandments Jesus' said because if he truly loved his neighbor as himself, he would have happily given away those possessions(note that Jesus still told the man to come and follow Him) But the young man did not love his neighbors as himself and that was Jesus' point. Jesus was reminding him he needed a savior because he couldn't do it alone. Later in Matthew 19, shortly after the ruler leaves, Jesus says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven. But Jesus also notes that with God a things are possible. Jesus always knew the rich man had flaws and Jesus' goal seemed to be showing the man he wasn't as good at keeping those commandments as he thought he was, not getting him to give up his possessions in order to get saved.
    So do you need to give up video games to be saved? No. If you made a vow never to play them again you did so under duress and ergo you may safely ask God to forgive you and start playing with His guidance through prayer. There is a verse in the old testament that talks about how the Jews were allowed to be resolved from vows(which mind you, back then were a lot different and note involved than what we think vows are today) but I cannot find it.
    Resisting OCD is very hard but through Jesus all things are possible. Your salvation is not at risk because you want to play a video game no one is saved by their works so we'll have nothing to brag about in heaven remember this :).
    OCD is like a mosquito bite the more you scratch it more it itches, try to ignore your anxiety for a while and it will dissapate.
     
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  4. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    Funnily enough, the whole Isaac and Abraham thing came to my mind as I was thinking about this stuff while walking my dogs. I don’t know though; I’m afraid of angering God or doing something irreversible. Funny; I’m more scared of playing video games than I am of watching porn. How does that work?
     
  5. ChristianGirl_96

    ChristianGirl_96 Active Member

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    I recommend seeing if you can find a therapist. They might also be able to help you cope better. OCD is a debilitating condition but you can do something to make it better. Take action. What about going to exercise classes?
     
  6. Yennora

    Yennora Buy the truth and sell it not. Pro 23:23

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    Hi Noah, I wrote a post about this back in 2017, it was about using our sensitivity to approach God. (I too suffer OCD but the negative thoughts have decreased powerfully recently)

    Use your sensitivity to approach God more.

    In the bottom you will find a link to another thread, please ignore it because after i thought I was cured from OCD it turned out it was still there.

    Now I'm much better than 2017 but that's a long story of how i changed that i cannot write now as it is 4:30AM here :p

    Update:
    This might not be my final reply since you indicated that leaving video games didn't work, yes, it won't work because not all video games are harmful. I myself needed video games many times as a sort of mental isolator that takes my mind away from the thoughts, however, i play games like Euro Truck Simulator 2 where there is not much direct and clear violence.. I really need to talk to you, sadly cannot today. :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  7. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    I am seeing a therapist; well, I haven’t really seen him recently, should probably do that. Also, I’ve thought a bit about exercise and stuff, but haven’t really done much yet. Now that school’s out, I should look into it more. I’m currently taking piano lessons and applying for a new job.
     
  8. Yennora

    Yennora Buy the truth and sell it not. Pro 23:23

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    Oh my God.. the amount of "me" into this.. I REALLY need to share this with you.

    I made promises with God, and i broke them, and i came back regretting the promise and feeling terrible but then i broke them again and again and again. Guess why? Because the promises were unreasonable, probably pushed on me by the continuous guilt produced from OCD.

    Then at one day I told God that i won't promise him of anything anymore because i suck at promises (i also asked for permission to end one promise that was EXTREMELY hard to keep). I hadn't been more free since then!!! Now, everytime i start telling God "I better not do this" i then resume with "But that's not a promise, you know i suck at keeping promises".

    This way my OCD couldn't push me to make any more promises.

    Update:

    In terms of video games, you can play, but before playing you need to have a talk with God, tell him to allow you to end this promise, if you ever did it in the first place, and tell him that you need games as a source of mental stimulation through the hardships of life.

    God is your friend, having a conversation with him is the best thing to do, he is not going to hurt or harm you!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  9. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    I feel like this is just a stupid question. How can I truly know if God did want me to give them up? I don't want to do it if He doesn't want me to.
     
  10. Mari17

    Mari17 Well-Known Member

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    You would KNOW; you wouldn't be asking about it. And no, it's not a stupid question, just a "normal" obsessive question. :) In my opinion, stopping all games is obsessive and legalistic. Those of us with OCD tend to feel we have to go to extremes. Learn to live your life with moderation and balance. In this case, I'd allow yourself to play video games, while avoiding excessively violent or unclean games, and of course trying to use moderation in the amount of time you devote to games. Often we OCDers tend to focus on one thing so much that we fail to see anything else; in this case, it sounds like you're trying so hard to avoid video games that you're missing out on quality time with your siblings and friend. So try to relax a little. You - I - all of us - we don't have to be perfect, even though we think we do. We should always be MOVING toward perfection, of course, but it's a process. And lots of times, God changes us naturally, and we just have a calmness about doing/not doing what He wants us to. Try to stop the things you KNOW are wrong (like pornography), and use balance for the things you aren't sure about. If you're still uncertain about something, just keep asking God about it, but instead of totally giving up everything you're not sure about, remember that you have OCD and tend to be TOO legalistic, and keep on striving for a balanced approach while continuing to pray and ask God to show you what to do. Life, and following God, is not nearly as traumatic as we OCDers make it out to be. God takes care of us, and leads us, and has grace for us, because, after all, - He's our father.
     
  11. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    The thing is, what if I do know, but want to make up some excuse for why I can still play? Sometimes I really feel like He wants me to give it up. I fear that I'm just trying to make up a reason why I can still play. You know what I mean?
     
  12. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    I also feel like this is a central thing that could mess up my assurance for salvation. Like, even through the times when I feel distant from God, I had my abstaining from video games to go back on. For example I might say "Part of me feels like walking away from God, or now I feel distant from God, or now I wonder if I truly believe in Him, but my abstinence from video games is proof of my sincerity in following Him." Part of me fears that if I start playing again, I'll prove my "salvation" false or something.
     
  13. Mari17

    Mari17 Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly what you mean, because that is exactly the way OCD reasons and the exact kind of reasoning I've used many times. I can't convince you "for sure" - because the OCD won't let you ever feel that it is safe "for sure." The only way you'll know is to...try it. :O Scary thought, I know. When I'm not sure whether or not something is OCD, I often pray and ask God to be merciful to me if I am making a mistake, then go ahead and treat it as OCD. Because nearly always, if we feel like something is OCD, even just a little, it is.
     
  14. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    So you don't think God will be mad at me if I play? Even after vowing to never play again? I was using this to show Him how willing I was to follow Him; if I begin playing now, what becomes of that willingness?
     
  15. Mari17

    Mari17 Well-Known Member

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    I think we should be willing to follow Him; but I think we should channel that willingness towards the things that He is actually asking us to do.
     
  16. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    Alright; I guess that makes sense. I played some sort of party game that could be considered a video game by some, so it seems I’ve gone and done it anyways.
     
  17. Mari17

    Mari17 Well-Known Member

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    If it makes you feel better, you could pray to God (once!) and tell Him that if you did make a promise, you now feel it was needless and obsessive, and ask Him to "release" you from it IF you even made it in the first place. Don't let it turn into a compulsion, though, and don't let it keep you from playing games! :)
     
  18. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    See, the thing is that while I was playing games still, I felt God’s presence more than I do now. I don’t know, it’s weird. I thought that not playing video games would help me some with the assurance and feeling not saved or something. Obviously it didn’t. This is all just weird.
     
  19. Mari17

    Mari17 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, feelings come and go. Likely what you define as "not feeling God's presence" is caused in large part by the OCD. We get all worried about our relationship with God and therefore don't feel the peace and joy we used to feel.
     
  20. NoahSK

    NoahSK Member

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    Let’s say He did want me to stop playing games, and I go ahead and play anyway. What’ll happen then?
     
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