Summary: In the media and the marketplace, our philosophy of life has been reduced to a bunch of slogans, cliches, trite phrases that we use to describe our lives...

If Life is a Game, Then Here are the Rules...

Matthew 6:25-34

1. In the media and the marketplace, our philosophy of life has been reduced to a bunch of slogans. Slogans, cliches, trite phrases that we use to describe our lives. Our television commercials are the biggest culprits of these infamous quotes. I’m sure you recognize a few of these pop philosophies we hear everyday.

a. Gatorade came out with an interesting one. “Life is a sport, drink it up.” The commercials feature Michael Jordan and other athletes competing in their respective sports. I believe the commercial is saying you should try your best, and drink more Gatorade.

b. “Life is what you make it,” is another popular one. It’s self-explanatory.

c. A cologne company came out with this one several years ago when talking about their product called Brut. “Because life is a contact sport.” I don’t even want to try explaining that one!

d. “Life is a beach.” I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds a lot nicer than the other saying.

e. “He who dies with the most toys wins.” I first saw that saying on a button. It took me the longest time to figure out what it meant. It almost means what it says, that those who have the most material possessions when they die wins. It fits our culture to a T.

f. But the most popular one that’s been quoted in so many words by commercials, popular songs, and other sources is, “Life is a game.”

2. I have some reservations about this line of thought. Could the way we make a living, carry on with our relationships, and grow up and grow old part of one big game? I don’t know about you, but I would have to really think about that. There’s a problem with that argument. If life is a game. . .

a. Where’s the instructions? Do you remember when you played a board game with your friends when you were kids, when there was a dispute over a certain move? What did you do? Well, besides call the other kid a cheater, you would look at instructions on the back of the box. So where’s the back of the box? Where’s the referee to let you know if you’re making the right move or not?

b. What is the object of this game? All games have an object, a goal to shoot for. In Monopoly®, the object is to eventually own all the properties. In chess, the object is to place your opponent’s king in checkmate. In other games, the object is to win more points than everybody else. However, if you ask five different people what the object of life is, and you’ll get five different responses. One will say the object is to have fun. One will say that the object is to make as much money as you can. One will say that the object is having a meaningful relationship. One will say that the object is to advance as much as you can. And another one will say that the object is to just to have a good life and get along with everybody.

c. How do we determine a winner? Is it one who has “the most toys” when they die? Is it the one who has the most power? Who is the winner? Who’s to determine who the winner is? And if there’s a winner, what’s the prize?

d. Can we start over? When I play a game or participate in a sport, I play it knowing that if I lose, I have the chance to play it over again. Unless you’re a believer in reincarnation, I don’t see any chance of starting your life all over again if you lose.

i. Clearly, from all the examples that have been mentioned, the conclusion is life is not a game. And it would be foolish to treat it as such. “Meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless, chasing after the wind,” the preacher in Ecclesiastes said.

ii. However, despite all the evidence, some are still not convinced. “You only go around once in life, so you need to go for the gusto.” There are people who may not say that life is a game, but they live their life like it is.

3. All right, just for the sake of argument, let’s pretend this is one big game. But if we adopt this mind set, we need to set some boundaries. If life is a game, then here are “the rules.”

a. The first rule, according to Matthew 6:25-26, is don’t worry about your daily bread. All of your essential needs God will provide for you. In fact, God has provided you already with more provisions than you asked for. Stop sweating about it.

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