'Christians on Vacation'

Christians on Vacation


There are things we as Christians are tempted to do while on vacation that we would not do when at home, like miss church services, drink alcohol, walk around half naked in public, gamble, and so on. I guess it’s the change in environment or being around people who don’t know we are saints that provoke these inappropriate desires. Whatever the reason, we need to be like Daniel by purposing in our heart to keep God first when in a strange environment (cf., Daniel 1:8). A few thoughts can help us do that:  

Plan to attend services. The Sunday morning of vacation is not the time to think about going to worship. We need to make that decision before we leave home and at some moment prior to worship times. If we truly care about worshipping God while on vacation, we will plan our activities around it, instead of trying to fit it in to our busy schedule. “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” is just as true on vacation as it is at home (Jas. 4:15).

Attend Sunday night and Wednesday night services. Churches that are accustomed to heavy traffic from vacationers see this pattern all the time. Sunday morning services are packed with visitors, while Sunday evening and Wednesday night services are neglected by those same visitors in the area. It is as if the thinking is, “We’ve done our Christian duty, now let’s get back to having fun!” Honestly, if we would not miss evening services at home, when we are capable of attending, why are we doing so while on vacation? Is seeking first the kingdom of heaven only a responsibility we have at home? What does God see within our heart when we look for ways to miss services?

There is always someone watching. We might think we are doing no harm in buying that booze or lottery ticket while out of town, but someone is being influenced by our example. Maybe it’s our family and friends who see our inconsistency. Even if no one we know sees us doing those things, what about God and our conscience? Are we able to escape them? Do we forget that “the darkness and the light” are both alike to God? Are we aware that people depart from Christ for “having their own conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:3)?  

Put it this way, if the people at church were standing in line with us at the convenience store or dining with us at the restaurant, would we still purchase alcohol or gamble? Would we walk around in provocative, skimpy clothes? Then why are some doing so in another town? Jesus had a word for this type of behavior. It’s called hypocrisy. And it must not be our manner of life if we are going to heaven. “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him” (Pro. 20:7).

The Lord gives us richly all things to enjoy. If we are fortunate enough to have the resources to go on vacation, let us praise the Lord and enjoy our abundance with thanksgiving. These are our portion in life. But let us remember the One from whom all blessings flow. Instead of seeing a foreign environment as an opportunity to sin, let us use it as another way to see God’s creative power in other parts of the world. Standing on an isolated beach observing the waves and open sky can be an awesome experience when we think of our Great Creator. But add a beer, a skimpy bathing suit, or a forsaken assembly, and what should have been an enriching experience becomes the devil’s playground. Let us be wise and prudent. For, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Pro. 15:3).


Mike Thomas