By Caleb Keith –
Everybody will binge something at some point in one’s life. The typical objects of bingeing are alcohol, food, and tobacco. These low hanging fruit are easily condemnable. Each has immediate and long-term physical consequences that harm or endanger the binger. Drink hard all night and you’ll be throwing up before the sun roles up and in the morning; any sound or light will be your nemesis. Gorge yourself with too much food and you’ll feel bloated and sluggish, and long-term continuation can lead to a lifetime struggle with weight. Smoke a pack or two and you’ll be demonized by healthy America and constantly reminded that cancer is knocking at your door. Technology has opened up a new can of worms with binge watching and binge gaming. The side effects of these usually include loneliness and neglect of daily responsibilities.
I have been known to binge game or watch on occasion; my longest streak lasting eight hours. It is amazing how quickly I can get sucked into a game or a whole season of the next hit show on Netflix. With the rest of the world on pause it’s easy to sit on the couch and let the glowing screen fill my brain. That is until I realize the rest of the world was never on pause; the dishes are dirty, I have a blog to write, and my wife Erika is going to be home in ten minutes. Shit! No matter how fast I clean she will know what I did all day. Everything is fine until bingeing causes me to disappoint my exhausted wife who is coming home at 1am from an eight-hour shift. This type of story doesn’t happen all the time in my house, but when it does the end result stings. That’s because bingeing is at its worst when it hurts other people.
At its core bingeing can be a compulsive reaction, or an obsession, and even an addiction. It flows into more categories than vices or digital media. Some binge on occupational duties, some binge on sleep, and others binge in hundreds of other ways. At the end of the day bingers of all types are aware of the personal consequences of their actions. It doesn’t take an outside voice for a smoker to know tobacco isn’t healthy, or for a workaholic to know that they are losing free time. Because of this there is no reason to be upset at people who binge, that is, until the gamer ignores his kids and the drinker beats his wife. I don’t have any problems with bingeing every once in a while, whether it be smoking, watching Netflix, or sleeping in. However that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be on guard for times when bingeing becomes dangerous to those around us. When we all inevitably fail, just like I did in the story above, Christ’s forgiveness is still there for us. By the power of His death and resurrection those whom we harm have the power to forgive us and love us even in our failure.