LOVERS OF PLEASURE

By George Card

 

I write this as a young man has been ejected from a restaurant. The young man is obviously drugged out and can barely stand or talk. How sad that countless young people destroy their minds and bodies in the pursuit of the pleasure of drugs.

 

Yes there is pleasure in drugs for a season; that is why people seek that pleasure. The pleasures of sin are enjoyable but the end is destruction. Sin takes many forms; it can be drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sexual practices and even food. I know that we need food in order to live, but I am not talking about normal sustenance but about the excessive pursuit of pleasurable food.

 

Music is pleasurable and most of the world’s music seeks to please the fleshy ear. Worldly singers sign multi-million dollar contracts. Movie stars are not only showered with money but the adulation of their fans. Multi-talented stars who can both act and sing have more income possibilities. The world class entertainers can demand and get astronomical sums for their performance, but even those with lesser talent can get a nice income.

 

We live for entertainment; most of the books written are fiction, not for our learning. Just about all TV has to be entertaining even the educational shows must be somewhat entertaining or else the audience will leave. Video games are thriving despite their high prices. Sports auditoriums get bigger and bigger. Theme parks are crowded and then we have parks, beaches, cruises, resorts and many more avenues that give us pleasure.

 

It has gotten so bad that even the church has become a center of pleasure. We now have to entertain the audience with rock singers, the choir must razzle and dazzle the church. Ministers must know that they have to be engaging and mesmerize the church audience or else they will leave. The preacher better be exciting, emotional or inspirational or else he will end up preaching to empty pews. The church building must now be colorful, brilliant and pleasing to the eye. And the church better accommodate their schedule on the superbowl day or else it will be empty.

 

We are a society obsessed with seeking pleasure in this world. I know the cries will be “hey  I work hard all week, I need time to relax and enjoy myself”, “what is wrong with a little vacation?” or that I am somehow against rest and relaxation. Well not true, there is nothing wrong with eating, relaxing in a chair with your feet up, visiting a zoo or an aquarium, taking a trip to the beach or the mountains. He is not against us engaging in those and other entertaining and relaxing activities, the problem is that, that is all most people in society seem to live for, that is the whole their existence; lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4)

 

Where is the quiet time given to God in prayer and meditation? Where is the time spent in talking with God and worshiping him privately? Where is the time given to God in reading his Holy word instead of those trashy novels? Where is the time given to our fellow men in volunteering in a soup kitchen? Where is the time given to evangelizing the lost or witnessing to others? Why should worship and Christian fellowship be only on church days?

 

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, God is not against pleasure, for it is him who gave us the ability to feel pleasure in eating, in hearing music, in getting a massage, in looking at the beauty of nature and yes in sex too (God is not a prude, he created sex). He created us with the desire for pleasure. “you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalms 16:11, “you shall make them drink of the river of your pleasures” Psalm 36:8. But he wants us to be more focused on him than on the pleasures of this world, and he will fill us with his eternal pleasures.