CHRISTIANS APPROACHES TO LEISURE

Learning Outcomes 

By the end of the topic, you should be able to

  1. Explain the meaning of leisure
  2. Discuss the traditional African understanding of leisure
  3. Discuss Christian teaching on leisure
  4. Discuss the importance of leisure
  5. Outline various forms and uses of leisure
  6. Explain how leisure is misused in the society today
  7. Discuss the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and their effects
  8. Explain Christian criteria for evaluating the use of leisure

 

LESSON ONE: MEANING OF LEISURE

Work is an obligation – however people cannot work 24 hours. They need to rest. God rested on the 7th  day after work. Work and rest are complementary elements of human life.

Definition of leisure 

This is the time when one is free from work or other duties. Time at one’s own disposal, which can be  utilized in a productive manner depending on one’s interests and abilities.  Leisure provides mental, physical relaxation, spiritual, emotional relaxation and enrichment

Forms of leisure 

  1. Passive
  2. Active leisure

Passive involves use of mental energy

Active leisure – there is use of physical energy

Examples of activities of passive leisure are

  • Watching television
  • Reading story books
  • Playing video games
  • Chatting with friends

Examples of activities of active leisure are

  • Jogging
  • Mountain climbing
  • Gardening
  • Dancing
  • Tree planting
  • Playing football

Leisure is used for

  • Enjoyment
  • Entertainment – song, dance, watching movies etc
  • Relaxation – exercises
  • Socialization – sharing, education
  • Religious engagement – wedding ceremonies, visiting the sick, worship In passive leisure others entertain while in active leisure the person is active, whole body is involved.

Active leisure enables a person to

  1. Develop his/her body
  2. Build stamina
  3. Strengthen relationships etc

Some leisure activities are dangerous e.g. boxing, motor racing; while others are expensive e.g. golf.

Other leisure activities are addictive while others are unproductive.

  • Leisure activities should be planned for
  • Leisure activities can also be economic, income generating activities.

 

LESSON TWO: TRADITIONAL AFRICAN UNDERSTANDING OF LEISURE

Learning outcomes. By the end of the lesson, you should be able to: –

1.Define leisure according to the traditional African understanding

2. State the various forms of communal leisure activities

 

In traditional African society leisure permeates all aspects of life. Leisure activities accompany work.

Leisure and work were entertainment. Work was accompanied by singing, reciting stories sharing past  events. Examples of leisure activities in traditional African society include

  •  Wrestling
  • Running
  • Playing ajua
  • Mock fighting
  • Swimming
  • Spear throwing
  • Poetry
  • Music and dance etc

Leisure activities that were communal include

  • Bull fighting
  • Tongue – twisters
  • Poetry recitation
  • Telling of myths legends
  • Dancing
  • Brain teasers Riddles etc  o Work in African society included fishing, tilling the land, herding, hunting, harvesting  o Most leisure activities in traditional African society were active form of leisure, communal, not  individualistic and not for monetary gains  o All forms of leisure had an educational value. Folk stories had a moral value. People were taught not to  be selfish, greedy jealousy etc Myths and legends tell of the origin of the community and its history of  important people as well as history of the community.
  • In African traditional society, leisure led to acquisition of values or virtues such as co – operation, sharing, solidarity, love, bravery, empathy, endurance, tolerance etc.
  • Most activities were linked to the worship of God and, veneration of the ancestors o Leisure activates were organized along gender and age group season

(E.g. harvest – dancing, singing);  wet rainy seasons – boat swimming  o Rites of passage e.g. initiation, marriage, birth and naming provided leisure activities

  • Leisure activities were planned for

 

LESSON THREE: CHRISTIAN TEACHING ON LEISURE

Learning outcomes. By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –

  1. Describe the Christian teachings on work
  2. State the various ways that Christians use their leisure

Christian teach that 

  1. Work and leisure are of divine origin. God rested on the 7th day after working
  2. Leisure is a gift from God leisure should be put to good use. Its not be wasted
  3. Leisure provides us with the opportunity to worship God. Leisure should be used to serve God.
  4. Christians associate leisure with personal growth and fellowship
  5. Jesus recognized the need for rest by withdrawing his disciples from their active ministry. Its good to have time alone for reflection, rest, visit friend etc.
  6. Leisure should be used to seek God and help others e.g. Jesus prayed, helped the needy restored people’s health.

Ways Christian use their leisure time – activities 

Worshipping God

Visiting the sick

Caring for the needy

Resting

Watching television

Chatting with family members

Retreat – time spend away with a group of people to be alone with God

Visiting friends, relatives

Reading the bible

Praying etc

 

LESSON FOUR: IMPORTANT USE AND MISUSE OF LEISURE

Learning outcomes. By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –

  1. State the importance of leisure
  2. List the ways that leisure can be used properly
  3. Describe how leisure is misused today

Importance of leisure 

Leisure is necessary. It’s important in various ways

1) It is a good time to assess the work we have done (Reflection time)

2) It brings people together leading to self – growth and fulfilment (Social function of leisure)

  • Leisure helps individuals to discover their hidden talents
  • Leisure relaxes the mind – a change of activity, relieves the mind
  • Leisure refreshes the body – restores lost energy
  • Leisure enables Christians to offer charity to those in need
  • Leisure provides time for worship and spiritual renewal

Leisure gives one time to rest

  • It’s time for recreation
  • Give one time to attend social occasions
  • Allows people to travel and visit friends and relatives
  • Leisure can be used to enhance and acquire new skills and knowledge
  • It’s a time to develop and discover ones talents

Uses of leisure – proper of leisure 

Leisure can be used for

  1. Religious experience
  2. A time for rest
  3. Leisure is used to provide us with time to help others
  4. Leisure can be used to spread the word of God
  5. Development of talents
  6. Its an opportunity for individual growth
  7. Leisure strengthens social relationships
  8. Leisure can be used for reflection on one’s decision; actions etc leisure activities reveal who we are.
  9. Leisure can be used for educative and economic purposes

Proper use of leisure is when leisure time is spent doing activities that add value to us.

Misuse of leisure today 

Leisure time can be misused through various activities e.g.

1. Spending too much time in passive activities e.g. pornography watching, watching films that are  violent

2. Spending leisure time in idle talk – gossip-leading to conflicts

3. Spending time in gambling, casinos making bets on horses playing Ajua games etc

4. Alcohol and drug taking – when a person over drinks alcohol, spends time drinking at the expense of family, abusing drugs is misuse of leisure time.

5. Leisure can also be misused by engaging in dangerous activities. Night dancing, disco dancing has become a common form of leisure worldwide. What are the  advantages and disadvantages?

 

LESSON FIVE: DRUG ABUSE AND ITS EFFECTS- ALCOHOL, SOFT AND HARD DRUGS

Learning outcomes. By the end of the lesson, you should be able to: –

  1. Define the terms drug, drug use, drug abuse
  2. State the different ways that drugs are administered
  3. List the various categories of drugs
  4. List the different types of drugs
  5. Describe the various effects of different drugs

A drug is any substance which when taken may alter or cause changes in the normal functioning of the  body.

Drug abuse 

Improper use of drugs. Using a drug for another purpose than what it is intended for

Drug use 

Proper use of drugs

Drugs are taken in various forms namely

  • Liquids
  • Lotions
  • Ointment
  • Powder
  • Cake form,

Drugs are classified as legal and illegal

Ways of administering drugs 

Drugs are taken /administered in various ways

  • Infecting
  • Inhaling / smoking
  • Chewing
  • Swallowing
  • Drinking
  • Sniffing / snuffing

Categories of drugs 

  1. Medicinal
  2. Soft drugs
  3. Hard / narcotic drugs

Types of drugs 

  • Preventive drugs e.g. drugs to prevent polio, cholera, yellow fever
  • Curative drugs – drugs that cure diseases
  • Sedatives, palliatives – drugs that alleviate pain, put patients to sleep e.g. drugs for diabetes, heart diseases, asthma, painkillers
  • Tranquillizers – drugs that relieve tension induce sleep e.g. piriton, valium
  • Stimulants – drugs used to increase physiological activity of a particular organ. They arouse the activity of the central nervous system / senses.
  • Volatile drugs – these drugs intoxicate the user, they are derived from petroleum products paint thinners dry cleaning fluids glue etc. stimulants and volatile drugs classified as soft drugs.
  • Hard drugs or narcotic drugs

These are highly addictive drugs. The body forms dependence on these drugs. These drugs affect the  mind causing drowsiness; sleep, stupor and they are the most commonly abused drugs. Examples are

Cocaine 

  • From coca leaves
  • Its highly addictive
  • Causes mental problems
  • Can lead to death on overdose
  • A very expensive drug

Other side effects are confusion, Convulsions, circulatory collapse and rapid heart beat

Bhang / Marijuana 

  • A plant of Indian hemp
  • Also called marijuana, Hashish, Cannabis, Sativa depending on which part of the plant is taken i.e. leaves, stem, or roots.
  • Users become aggressive excited or high
  • Bhang changes perception of space, time and reality
  • It causes drowsiness and irresponsible behaviour
  • Its side effects causes people to be engaged in criminal activities e.g. robbery with violence as it gives changes in perception  Morphine

Its used to suppress pain clinically

  • Its addictive
  • Its derived from cocaine
  • Used as local aesthetic

Heroine 

  • Its pain relieving
  • Highly addictive
  • Powder heated in foil paper, vapour forms hence smoked referred to as” chasing the dragon” – Also called brown sugar
  • Its injected and inhaled
  • An overdose can lead to death
  • its expensive
  • It causes respiratory problems
  • Its depressive
  • Withdrawal symptoms when heroine is not available are nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and severe anxiety

Soft drugs 

  • Cigarette
  • Alcohol
  • Miraa / khat

Cigarette 

  • Made from tobacco
  • Cigarettes contain
  1. Nicotine – a highly addictive substance.
  2. Carbon monoxide, which damages arteries heart and lungs
  3. Tar – black substance which promotes cancer of the throat, heart and lungs

Cigarettes are legal drugs in Kenya.

Pregnant women may miscarry or terminate the pregnancy if they smoke.

Leads to chest respiratory diseases poor blood circulation

Leads to destructive fires due to carelessness

Miraa / khat 

  • Plants / legally in Kenyan, and other parts of the world
  • They are chewed
  • Causes temporary excitement
  • Makes one loose appetite for food and sex
  • The juice in miraa causes temporary excitement in the user when ingested
  • Miraa makes the user to be irritable

Alcohol 

  • Alcohol is a drug made through fermentation
  • It’s a drink used in social ceremonial occasions
  • It’s in form of beer wines, traditional brew (e.g. busaa, muratina, mnazi )and spirits e.g. whisks, brandy,  gin, chang’aa
  • Alcohol is prepared by fermentation or distillation – heating to a certain degree.
  • In African traditional society, alcohol was fermented and used for
  1. Medicinal value
  2. Entertainment
  3. Marriage celebrations
  4. Beer parties given to visitors
  • Excessive drinking was discouraged
  • Drunk people were scorned or scolded
  • Young people were not allowed to drink alcohol
  • When alcohol is taken excessively it is abused

Alcohol abuse 

  • Alcohol can lead to body dependence or addiction
  • Consequences of abusing alcohol are such as
  • Squandering family resources
  • Health deterioration
  • Lack of concentration leading to poor quality of work
  • Family break-ups due to frustrations

A man experiences a desire for sex but lacks the ability to perform leading to break ups

  • Deformed foetus if a mother abuses alcohol when pregnant
  • Alcohol destroys brain cells
  • It leads to unruly behaviour such as fights, violence
  • One is vulnerable to risky behaviour – a drunk person is unable to make proper decisions hence vulnerable to sexual infections such as HIV / AIDS
  • Can make a person cause accidents if driving under the influence of alcohol or staggering on the

 

LESSON SIX: CAUSES OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE (REASONS WHY PEOPLE ABUSE ALCOHOL AND  DRUGS)

Learning outcomes. By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –

  1. State and explain the effects of drugs
  2. State and explain the causes of drug use and abuse
  • Frustration due to unemployment, inability to perform well and meet set standards or other personal
  • Idleness – when idle some turn to alcohol and drug use
  • Addiction
  • Boredom
  • Bad examples from adults
  • Availability of drugs in the Kenyan market
  • Negative peer pressure
  • Experimentation then addiction
  • Media influence
  • Societal permissiveness
  • Urbanization
  • Pressure of work
  • Financial stress
  • Globalization – foreign world influences

Effects of drug abuse 

Drug abuse poses danger to the health of a person, affects family, society in general. Effects of drug  abuse are

Psychological problems – drugs are addictive. The body becomes dependant on them. It cannot perform without the drugs. It leads to depression, irritability, aggressiveness, paranoia, one becoming  afraid to face reality etc.

  1. Crime – robbery, theft, people abusing drugs will rob, steal so as to get money to buy the drugs. Drugs have led to students setting schools on fire, killing their fellow students
  2. Illusion – users do not face reality

Health problems – one is prone to diseases because of frequent use of drugs. Drugs weakens the body’s system e.g. alcohol leads to liver Cirrhosis, stomach ulcers. One is susceptible / prone to HIV /  AIDS infection STI’s lung cancer, still birth etc

Economic problems

Drugs are expensive. Abuse leads to depletion of family resources leading to poverty

  1. Loss of job and income
  2. Social problems

Abuse of drugs leads to family conflicts, leading to separation, divorce, family quarrels fights and even  murder (domestic violence)

  1. Accidents
  2. Frustrations
  3. Poor performance in school work
  4. Death

People die out of drug abuse. An over dose of heroine, cocaine kills. Alcohol can lead to a blackout, this  affects the brain

 

LESSON SEVEN: REMEDIES TO DRUG ABUSE

Learning outcomes. By the end of the lesson you should be able to:-

  1. List down the various remedies to drug use and abuse

Drug abuse has become a global problem.

Remedies or solutions include 

Law enforcement – through bodies such as UNDCP United Nations International

Drug Control Programme Anti Narcotics Police Units, NACADA National Agency for  the Campaign Against Drug Abuse so as to control abuse of Narcotics and other drugs.

Education

People to be educated on the effects of drugs. The curriculum from primary to secondary to include  topics on drug abuse.

Guidance and counselling 

Religious teachings – all religious condemn the abuse of drugs  Family values to be promoted. Parents should set good examples to their children

Every individual to cultivate individual values. Respect their body and take care of their bodies

Rehabilitation of drug users / abusers 

 

LESSON EIGHT: CHRISTIAN CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING THE USE OF LEISURE

Learning outcomes. By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –

  1. Describe the Christian’s criteria for evaluating the use of leisure

Criteria – criterion – a principle or standard for judging something.

How does a Christian determine whether a certain leisure activity is lawful, acceptable before God

criteria for evaluating the use of leisure 

  • Christians, should engage in leisure activities which promote their respect and dignity they should socialize with people who are morally upright (bad company corrupts good morals)
  • God ordains leisure hence it should serve God’s purpose.
  • Leisure should come after work
  • Leisure should be used for the good of others. The activities that are harmful to others should be avoided
  • Activities chosen should enrich their knowledge of God
  • Activities should provide service to others
  • Leisure doesn’t mean laziness
  • A Christian should not engage in a harmful activity to self but those that promote respect and dignity
  • Christians to avoid activities that lead to sin or to addiction
  • They should perform an activity which develop their physical emotional social and spiritual well  being
  • Leisure should be enjoyed with moderation
  • Activities for leisure should be moral, within the laws of God and pleasing to good.

Revision questions 

  1. Identify five (5) reasons why the taking of alcohol as a way of spending leisure is condemned
  2. Write down five ways in which modern Christians use their leisure time
  3. Give five ways in which drug use and abuse could affect a Christian identify ways in which Christians can overcome temptations to drug use and abuse
  4. Why is leisure important in the life of a Christian?
  5. What factors have contributed to the misuse of leisure in Kenya?
  6. state the factors that have led to the misuse of drugs in Kenya
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