I just privately responded to a message in my ask box in which someone asked me about my opinion when it comes to the enjoyment of worldly things. They were scared of sinning because they have been told that in enjoying anything worldy (i.e. watching a movie, reading, doings sports, any hobbies, etc.) they were straying away from God because they should use this time reading the bible instead. I feel like this is an incredibly unhealthy way of approaching God and not at all how He wants us to experience this world which He has created, so I felt like making a post about the matter on here, as well, showing you a few bible verses that talk about enjoying life because I think this kind of thinking is really common within Christianity and it’s just so very harmful.
So, if you’re looking for bible verses about enjoying life here on earth, especially Ecclesiastes is very clear on the matter. For example, in Ecclesiastes in 5:18 it says “Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment[a] in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.“, in 8:15 it says “And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.“, and in 13:12-13 it says “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” So, these verses definitely tells us to enjoy life and to enjoy the worldly aspects of life - like eating and drinking, because of course movies weren’t really a thing back then - but while doing so, of course not to forget this: “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.“ (Ecclesiastes 11:9), judgment in this case not meaning that God will inherently condemn us for these things, but that He will judge what we have done and wether we have sinned while doing those things. There are also a few other verses on the matter, like in Timothy 6:17 also speaks of the “living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy“ and in Timothy 4:4 it says “For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:”.
So, what I’m getting from this is that we should definitely enjoy life and the worldly things of life and be grateful for them because this is exactly the reason why God has given them to us. What we should not do, though, of course, is to sin while doing these things, and to make sure to always give thanks and be aware of the fact that it was God who gave us these things. We should also always take care not to let them overwhelm us but always focus on God. This of course also means that different things are good for different people. If whatever you’re enjoying is really driving you away from God, then this will obviously be harmful in your relationship to Him. But to me, not loving worldly things too much never meant not being allowed to spend your time with reading or playing a sport to enjoy instead of praying and studying the bible 24/7, but more things like not giving away any money so you’re getting richer and richer while other people starve, or making fun of someone else so your friends will think you’re cool or funny but you’re actually judging or hurting the other person in the process.
I feel like it’s important to recognize that God is everywhere - not only within the church, or only on the pages of your bible, but literally everywhere, and that you can be close to Him even if you’re doing things that don’t have His name plastered all over them. God gives people talent to write books and to make movies, but for what purpose would He do this if we weren’t allowed to experience them? He made a wonderful planet full of wonders, but what would He have made this planet for, if not for us to find Him in it, instead of locking us away somewhere, trying to find Him without even looking at His creation, because we consider enjoying it to be sinful? As I said, everyone has different ways of being close to God, and every way is valid, so if someone feels like enjoying worldly things drives them away from God and prefer reading their bible instead, that’s absolutely fine - but that doesn’t mean everyone has to do it like that. Be joyful and thankful for what God has made for you! He wants you to, I promise.