Are expensive hobbies against the gospel?


For a while now iv been thinking about racing road motorcycles, id really love to have a go but im finding it hard to justify putting time and money into a personal hobby or sport that could otherwise be spent for charitable reasons. Iv been making progress in my conversion and love to give and dont intend to stop. But iv been into bikes since i was a kid, it was a dream of mine to race and would really love to have a go. I’d probably just stick to the cheapest classes, i dont intend to put a huge amount of money into it.
Im just unsure if it would be against the gospel to put money and time into a recreational activity like that when theres people starving in the world. My concience isnt totally clear on this one.
Id appreciate any advice.


There is nothing sinful about buying a motorcycle.


A hobby is not bad unless it takes you away from obligations of family or mass attendance. Its just like an occupation, you can make money with a hobby, I do. If it involves being around other people, it gives you one more opportunity to share your faith. My husband is musically talented, he just found a gathering of other Catholics that gather to practice together. I meet with Christian and Catholic crafting groups for charity and church fundraising.


You could also look at it this way: The money you are spending, provided you are not denying your other financial obligations, is going to support other people, like those who build and service motorcycles, make the parts, etc.


I think the only time it might be against gospel is if you see it (your hobby) as your new master (see Mat 6:24).

I think what christofirst said is very true too… you are spending money and that money is going to the companies who support your hobby. Those companies have employees who need those jobs to support their family… it is a large circle and you are supporting these people. Sure, you may be spending less on charitable giving, but who knows, maybe one of those families that would have needed that charity now have a job because of the money you are spending on your hobby.


Good points, yeah i thaught it could be an opportunity to share my faith in the racing scene, i could put a pray the rosary sticker on my bike then if i win some people might say hey maybe i should try that:).
I think im rooted deep enough in the faith not to let it distract me from the main goal in life which is getting to heaven, and i think the evangelical mission will allways be my first priority.
So i dont think it would be a bad thing, but to look at it another way to sacrifice my own recreational activities for the sake of charity definitly wouldnt be wrong. Unless God wants me racing.
Ill look into it further, If the Lord doesnt want me racing then i think that will become clear with time. Thanks :slight_smile:


None of us are really as deeply rooted in our faith as we may think. I’ve made that mistake many times, and I let things get in between me and God. I’ve been having to go through stuff and get rid of what I don’t really need. My place is too small for much of what I have. My biggest hobby is knitting and crocheting. But the finished projects have to go somewhere. I usually just give it away.

Sorry if I got off track there. Just keep your head squarely on your shoulders and pray like crazy.


imagine this, if we were supposed to not spent on hobbies, because there are poor people, do you think there would be toys on Christmas?

just dont over do it with the price (like leaving your family without food for buying something), and try to donate to the poor (good for you to remember them), and you’ll be fine.


Yeah, i get what your saying. Lately iv been of the kind of mind where im thinking there will be eternity for for recreational activities in heaven. Just got to keep working on getting there. Doesnt mean God would be against me racing motorcycles in this life. Im a single guy i have a 14 yo daughter that doesnt live with me, i rent a cheap house with my 2 brothers, iv been working on bikes since i was a kid so i can do most repairs and maintainance myself, and i have the workshop to do it, i dont drink i dont smoke and i dont take drugs, im only paying off one small car loan, i think i can manage to go racing at least bucket racers on a truck drivers wage and still keep giving to charity. i wasnt planning on racing new bikes i was thinking bucket racers which is a class of racing where the rules make the bikes really cheap to build and maintain, theres not alot in them, most of the cost would be in club membership fees, race licence fees, entry fees, fuel costs traveling to the event etc. If i felt this endeavour was coming between me and God id give it up in a heartbeat.


Do you think the devil somtimes tries to make it seem like some of our endevours are against Gods will when its actually not to prevent us from achieving things?


No, but wastefulness is a sin. On the other side of the Atlantic there are women and children who need our help, and who could use our financial resources. If we can’t lend them a helping hand because our wasteful pastimes prevent us from having anything to spare, then that is truly a sin.

God Bless.


Thats kind of whats been riding on my concience so i get it in my head i shouldnt do it then i have these moments when im not so sure about that. I spoke to my parish priest at mass tonight, he said i should have a go because wasting our talents can come between us and God too. So to hear it from a priest a shepperd on top of the advice given from you helpful people, im fine with it now.
Ill still be able to give to charitys as i have been im not going to stop that, and maybe theres some need for more christian presence in the local motorcycle racing scene. That can be a kind of charity too, so im going to have a go. Thanks for all your advice.


It is difficult for people who don’t practice a highly specialized activity, whether it is forum members or a priest, to comment on the specifics of the activity.

Thus, my suggestion is that you should use this question as a reason to move closer to God – daily, and perhaps make a little more effort in following the Gospel eg: do some acts of charity. Do this as a means of “focusing the lens” or getting some clarity.

Then, also seek advice from people who know more about the pro’s and cons of the activity.

From your post, you have some reservations about the new sport and you attribute the reservations to cost. It may be that your reservations are not a problem as the priest said. Or it may be that your reservation is valid, but cost is not the issue. Only someone who is more familiar with the sport can illuminate the real issue – if there is one.

I don’t ride, but I work in a trauma center and I take care of people who have accidents on bikes. I also have a special interest in risk mitigation, especially in larger systems, but for individuals as well.

One thing I have learned from observing people who take risks for a living, is that they do two things;

  1. They train like crazy.
  2. They accept limits on the activity, and there are lines they won’t cross.

I am sure you do both of these already, because you are still in one piece. However, you are contemplating a major shift in #2 that will substantially increase the risk of the activity.

From my observation, the issue is not cost, but whether the new activity is worth the risk especially since you have a child who depends on you. I thought about riding a few times but chose other sports mainly because in riding you can only reduce risks so much with training because of other people on the road.

I am going through a similar thought process with my own hobby that is also highly specialized and is causing me some physical discomfort since I have a blown disc in my neck (submission grappling). The activity is not just fun, but it has brought a lot of healing to me during a time of loss. However, after following the process above, I now see that I must dial back #2, and change the limits on the activity, or not do it at all because I also have people that depend on me. Seeing where to draw the limits only has come from experts in the sport.

However, I am going to keep “focusing the lens” because I am also starting to get a clearer idea on how I can gain the same benefits in other areas of life from the part of the sport that I must limit.

Good luck.


some priests play golf.



Are you saying all hobbies are a waste of resources and so sinful?

Can you cite any Church sources for this claim?

Sarah x :slight_smile:


Interesting comment.

Based on that, I would take it that you are using a computer at the library, right? Because the money you spent on a computer could have been used to help those women and children.

But really, why have libraries. Books are expensive. So are extra buildings. That money could be used to help the poor.


Its a matter of obsession and becoming an image instead of the person you are and being capable of separating the two.

Start in the dirt. trust me you’ll be “accomplished” when you hit the road. Dress safely for sure its a serious contact sport.


Iv been riding for a long time. I wanted to race motocross and was training for it in my early 20’s I was getting quite fast but had an old (though well tuned and set up) 91 YZ125. I couldnt afford a more competetive bike, and was having at the time undiagnosed mental and spiritual health issues. i just couldnt afford to race. One day i crossed the line from fast to just stupid and tore my ACL. I was limping around on it for three years before i got a reconstruction done. It was around that time i turned to God for help because i was just having a hard time coping with life. He answered my call and i hav’nt looked back. Anyway now im armed with some much needed spiritual training im picking up where i left off with my motorcycle mechanic training and racing ambitions, but this time im more into road than dirt mainly because half my maniscus cartliage is missing out of my knee and i dont think it can handle the big jumps.
I am safety concious, i have a kawasaki zxr250 (I havnt upgraded yet from my learner permit) registered on the road, i like to take that for a ride on the windy roads, but i understand its a road not a race track with cars that can pull out of driveways, oil slicks, pot holes to watch out for etc, so i have some fun and try to hone my skills but i can tell when im crossing the line to a bit stupid so i restrain myself. On the racetrack you have run off areas and gravel traps and the track is in good condition, and ill be wearing proper safety gear, Ill have by brown scapular on as allways. So ill keep the risk of injury as low as i can, obviously ride as quick as i can without tempting the Lord by riding dangerously stupid.
I also understand that these worldly occupations are passing so i hold onto these ambitions loosly, allthough motorcycle mechanics and riding are some of my talents and id like to make use of them and develop them, iv got my eyes pretty firmly fixed on eternity. I only find motorcycle sports and technology interesting and enjoyable these days because i find God in them. If you can understand that.


Good morning:

Just found this thread - I’m impressed that the OP is so thoughtful and conscientious. This must be a sure sign that he is moving closer to God in his conversion.

I think we are right to struggle with this particularly “first world” concern - if you think about it, just about everything we who have resources in the US spend can seem like an extravagance. We’ve just put two of our children through college, not to mention the more mundane expenditures of cell phone bills, cable bills, netflix, . . you see my point.

How can I justify spending that money every month for our cell phones when there are people who don’t earn that amount in A YEAR?

I believe we are called to share our bounty. It sounds that you are already doing this in giving to your charities. We do as well. I also agree that by spending money we participate in the greater web of human production and endeavor. Even buying large and expensive things (like a car, a computer, a college education) which are luxuries to most of the world provide many, many jobs both here and abroad. This is not justifying, it is fact.

So in addition to the increased circle of people you’ll encounter through pursuing your hobby leading to increased opportunities to model the Christian life to others, if you choose your expenditures prudently you will be enjoying the fruits of your labors, and spreading those fruits in a wider way. I know you aren’t contemplating neglecting any of your existing financial responsibilities or charities in the process.

God bless you and stay safe!


I have dealt with that kind of erroneous accusation so much so that I have not used my God-given talents. It made me a kind of hermit, never having enough money for myself, let alone for charitable giving. I have since reclaimed my talents. Unfortunately, some are lost, because if you do not use them, you lose them. But God is merciful. I, alone can not possibly feed the millions who are hungry, or house all the homeless in all the world. So to charge all that guilt on me or on someone who likes to play golf once in awhile or join an activity like racing, is wrong.

A wasteful activity would be to spend hours at a topless bar, dropping your whole paycheck on booze and tips, that would be an evil, wasteful activity.

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