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Life Isn’t A Game

chess-182412Ever since I first became a teenager, the number of people I know who treat life like a game has only increased. Sure, none of my friends took life super seriously when they were little, but this is different. And I must admit that I am guilty of it as well. What I speak of is the tendency of people to see life as a game, especially as chess or as a video game where you level up and have the option of getting bonus points.

I don’t, in fact, think that it is merely my friends and I that have this mindset. A brief overview of pop culture can quickly provide evidence for this trend throughout American culture. Have you ever heard of Team Peeta or Team Gale? Are you #winning? What about #winninglikeaboss?

The sort of language used in games, the idea of being on a team or of winning or failing, is found everywhere, not just in gaming. I know that I am guilty of living with a gaming mentality, and I have a feeling that most other people my age do as well. When one of my pictures on Instagram hit 70 likes, I felt like I had just leveled up. When I buy newer, more hip apparel, I feel like I have leveled up. When someone compliments me, I feel as if I have received bonus points.

Okay, so maybe people do view life as a game, but what’s wrong with that? Well, essentially, life isn’t a game. The risks are different, the rewards are much different, and the rules are not even similar.

In a game, nothing really has moral significance. I can shoot people up in games all day long, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, in life, there are things of moral significance everywhere around us.

Using other people to get what we want is wrong. Focusing only on ourselves is wrong. And yes, focusing only on beating others is focusing only on ourselves.

The mindset of a game, the idea that it is all about beating other people, doesn’t cut it in reality. We must focus on more than just winning. We must realize that we cannot win. We cannot beat the standard which has been set for us on our own.

Life isn’t about being better than everyone else. It is about doing our best to reach a higher goal, the example set by Christ, through the mercy and grace of God. Although it may be fun to win an award or to get a promotion, that is meaningless if we have not accepted Christ.

I am guilty of treating life like a game, but I am coming to realize that it is not even remotely similar. I can only pray that God will renew me and cleanse me of my materialism. Life is about so much more than the things of this world. More than likely, in a hundred or so years, not much will be remembered about me, my possessions, or my popularity. However, the things of true importance are eternal and never die. I want to spend my time here focused on those things, not the things of this world.

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