Questions From Readers
Could playing violent computer games affect one’s relationship with Jehovah?
“Jehovah himself examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one,” wrote King David of ancient Israel, “and anyone loving violence His soul certainly hates.” (Psalm 11:5) The original-language word for “hate” can carry the thought of being “one who is an enemy.” Therefore, anyone loving violence is making himself an enemy of God. The question that we need to consider, then, is: Could playing certain computer games nurture a love of violence?
Violent computer games glorify the use of weapons. They often train the user in the art of war. The magazine The Economist stated: “America’s military is relying more heavily on computer games as training tools. Some games which the military uses are off-the-shelf products.”
True, those who play violent computer games are not doing harm to real people. But what does this choice of entertainment indicate about what may be happening to their hearts? (Matthew 5:21, 22; Luke 6:45) What would you conclude about a person who enjoyed stabbing, shooting, maiming, and killing imaginary people? What if this person spent many hours each week indulging those violent fantasies, becoming almost addicted to such games? At the very least, you would conclude that he was fostering a love of violence, just as a person who watches pornography is cultivating immoral desires.—Matthew 5:27-29.
How intensely does Jehovah hate someone who loves violence? David said that Jehovah “certainly hates” him. In Noah’s day, Jehovah demonstrated the intensity of his hatred for those who love violence. Jehovah said to Noah: “The end of all flesh has come before me, because the earth is full of violence as a result of them; and here I am bringing them to ruin together with the earth.” (Genesis 6:13) The true God destroyed an entire world of mankind because of their violent ways. He preserved only Noah and his family—eight individuals who did not love violence.—2 Peter 2:5.
People who want to be Jehovah’s friends “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears.” Instead of learning to love violence, they do not “learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) To remain God’s friend rather than become his enemy, we must “turn away from what is bad and do what is good.” We need to “seek peace and pursue it.”—1 Peter 3:11.
What if we have already been involved in playing violent video games? Then we need to be firmly resolved to please Jehovah by desisting from practicing what he hates. Surely we should pray for the help of God’s holy spirit to end this spiritually detrimental practice. We can stop if we allow such qualities as peace, goodness, and self-control to exercise a godly influence in our lives.—Luke 11:13; Galatians 5:22, 23.