Completing Quests

Level Up!

In today’s gaming world, ‘quests‘ are not an uncommon feature. When you hear the word ‘quest‘, what comes to mind is probably MMORPG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games), or other popular RPG’s from the last couple decades. Questing has moved beyond its traditional RPG commonplace though, and seeped into genres of all shapes and sizes.

Missions, achievements, goals, trophies, and weekly challenges all seem to borrow from the traditional questing formula. You have the freedom of choosing which quests you are going to take the time to complete. You may complete entirely different quests than your friends do, but by completing quests each of you will ultimately make progress in the game and be rewarded with things that help you to build a better character.

I believe that this trend in gaming has grown popular for a reason. Obviously it works well, but deeper than that is something more. Is it possible, questing gives us a more realistic sense of adventure because it is relatable?

In real life we aren’t given one story driven set of levels, we have countless options. All of these options have consequences (some good and others bad).

When we see someone drop a pencil, we have the option to pick it up. When we see somebody trying to carry a baby (and ten bags of groceries), we can choose to hold the door open for them. We can also choose not to do these things, but when we fail to complete a quest, we don’t gain any experience points. When we dig even deeper, this translates into a powerful lesson about faith without works…

A Link to Helping Others

Link

James 2:1-13 (ESV)

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,

and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”

have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?

Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s a really powerful thing to think about, it’s extremely important, and it can be really hard to do.

Selfishness (loving yourself more than others) is probably one of the most commonly ignored sins. That’s really bad news because it can be a ‘core cause’ of a lot of other sins.

Regular Gamerfaith readers have probably figured out that Link from the Legend of Zelda series is one of my favorite game heroes. The reason I like Link is because he manages to say a lot, without ever saying anything at all. Link rarely speaks (yes, there is at least one occasion in Zelda 2 where he says something like “I found a mirror under the table”), but his actions (not his words) tell you what kind of person he is.

When someone needs the grass cut, assistance in collecting bugs, or help finding a Yoshi doll; Link is fine with doing it. Link has a big mission, but he still stops to do the little side-quests that help people out. He knows that he isn’t superior to those around him, and he usually does his best to help anyone he can. I’m not encouraging you to idolize any game character (or anyone/anything that isn’t God), but I do like it when developers design characters with respectable qualities (I’m tired of Anti-Heroes).

There are people all around us who demonstrate similar kinds of values. They work to help those around them, and they don’t view themselves as superior. They have humility.

Jesus is the best role-model we could ask for. He is King, yet he came and served the lowest. He showed us how to love God, and how to love others more than ourselves. He washed feet, He healed, He even died and rose again for a bunch of people who all fell/fall short. When we only worry about our own business, we lose track of what really matters. Don’t get so caught up in your life, that you forget how to live it the right way. Read Matthew 16 and John 13 to hear more about this, and always feel free to message me about anything.

Accepting Quests vs. Completing Quests

Lazy

James 2:14-26 (ESV)

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,

and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!

Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;

and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”–and he was called a friend of God.

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

There is a big difference between accepting quests, and completing them. In games, accepting quests is often times as easy as clicking a button to talk to someone. Boom, it’s added into your Quest-list, and you can go do it whenever you want. Actually completing a quest, however, often involves difficult tasks (like walking halfway across a continent, exploring a treacherous cave to find an item of trivial worth, and then travelling all the way back). Anyone can accept quests, but only the persistent will work to complete them.

What does your quest list look like? When was the last time you completed a quest, and got to cross it off the list for the day? If asked to cross off completed tasks, some peoples list would look like this:

  • Spend time with God
  • Read my Bible
  • Start a Bible Study
  • Tell someone about God
  • Give my co-worker a ride home
  • Help at the local soup kitchen
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Tithe
  • Make a donation
  • Go for a run with a friend
  • Go visit Grandma
  • Play Rayman Legends

I know how it can be. It can be hard to do the right thing. Ask yourself, “What is keeping me from doing what is good? What is the heart issue?” When we help the people around us for the right reasons, we are also helping ourselves. We are putting things in perspective, and not viewing ourselves as more important than everyone else.

Maybe you need to literally make yourself a quest list. If you’re extra geeky like me, you can even put your own exp. values on it. Commit yourself to living respectfully everyday. Honor God with your lifestyle, and your heart will start to level up.

 Do It For The Exp. Not The Gold

Mario Coin

If the only reason that you donate tons of time and money to good causes is so that you can get your name on a list, be recognized as a giving person, or be blessed with more money back…guess what. Where’s your heart at? It’s really ironic when people do ‘kind‘ acts for selfish reasons. Do you think that God cares how big of a check you write? I think the real issue is: why are you doing what you do? Does it come from a love for God and others?

Mark 12:41-44 (ESV)

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.

And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.

And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.

For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

New Quest Available!

Read all of Mark 12 here!

If you’ve read everything in the post up to this point, guess what… You just studied James chapter 2! If you decided to read Mark 12, that’s wonderful! I encourage you to continue studying them (or other chapters/books) in your own Bible time.

If you’ve read the above verses, and learned something good, you probably just took a step towards leveling up! Now put it into action! Love God, and love others! Go and complete some quests!

Love you guys and praying for you,

-Caleb

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Link, Lazy DogLevel Up!, Mario Coin

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