Fruitless Activities – Today’s Youth Devotion

Fruitless Activities

Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:10-14

Steer clear of the fruitless activities of darkness; let your lives expose their futility. Ephesians 5:11, Phillips

CHOOSE HOW YOU would respond in each situation.

You’re stranded on a desert island, and you’re desperate to escape. Suddenly a small plane appears, far away on the horizon. You

  • hide in the bushes;
  • cross your fingers and wish the plane to land on your island;
  • start tapping out SOS in Morse code on your teeth;
  • do none of the above.

You want to become a famous singer, touring around the world and performing music for throngs of adoring fans. You

  • quit taking voice lessons;
  • take a vow of silence and live in isolation in Pago Pago;
  • listen to nothing but Yoko Ono records;
  • do none of the above.

You want to develop self-control, knowing that will please God and protect you. You

  • experiment with drugs;
  • get drunk every once in a while;
  • take up cigarette smoking;
  • do none of the above.

Wait a minute! What’s the deal? Why wouldn’t you hide in the bushes or tap out SOS on your teeth if you wanted to be rescued from a desert island? Why wouldn’t you take a vow of silence if you wanted to become a singing sensation or mess around with drugs if you wanted to obey God and develop self-control?

Simple. All of the above would be fruitless. Doing any of those things would accomplish exactly the opposite of what you were shooting for.

That’s right. One of the big problems with drugs, alcohol, or tobacco is that they accomplish the exact opposite of self-control. Those substances tend to take control away from you so that after you’ve begun using drugs, for example, you’re no longer self-controlled, you’re drug-controlled. If you drink too much alcohol, you’re no longer self-controlled, you’re alcohol-controlled. And once you make tobacco use a habit, you’re no longer self-controlled, you’re nicotine-controlled.

That’s what makes those things so dangerous and so undesirable. They’re fruitless activities; they accomplish the opposite of what God commands: self-control.

REFLECT: Some things are wrong because they hinder self-control. What things besides drugs, alcohol, and tobacco hinder self-control? How can you resist or avoid surrendering control of yourself to anything or anyone other than God?

PRAY: “God, show me those things that threaten to take control away from me, and help me, by your Spirit, to avoid them.”