• Jack Selcher

The Downside of Pleasure-Seeking

Pleasure-seeking is part of the fabric of American culture. But it’s not God’s way. Paul wrote, “But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6, NIV). Those who live for pleasure are dead to God even if the census still counts them.

Pursuing pleasure alienates others and causes strife (James 4:1). The Greek word translated “desires” is hedonon from which we get the word hedonism. A hedonist’s goal is to experience pleasure. Two persons with conflicting pleasure-seeking goals have all the ingredients for a fight.

On average, Christians in the United States give 2.5 percent of their income to churches.1 Meanwhile, in 2019, the average American spent 5.6 percent of income on entertainment.2 My guess is that many professing Christians spend similarly.

Pleasure-seeking undermines fruit-bearing. Life’s worries, riches and pleasures choke out God’s word and prevent it from bearing fruit (Luke 8:14). Millions of professing Christians are so preoccupied with pleasure that they’ve almost no positive effect on their world for Christ.

Pleasure-seeking doesn’t satisfy. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 2 that the pursuit of pleasure is vanity. James said, “…(You) do not have…you cannot get…you do not have.” Satisfaction from pleasure is like a mirage. It seems near but remains ever elusive.

Pleasure-seeking alienates God. He hates it. James labels pleasure-seeking as adultery. It’s spiritual unfaithfulness to God. It’s aligning yourself with the world’s ways of thinking and behaving. If you make the world system your friend, you make yourself God’s enemy. God tolerates no rivals. He wants your exclusive love. What rivals God for devotion in your life? You’ve crossed the line when something other than God becomes your defining passion.

The solution to pleasure-seeking is submission ( James 4:7-10). The command to submit begins a chain of ten commands. Each calls for immediate action. The humble person receives God’s grace. The entrance ramp to the highway of grace is submitting your will to God. Submitting cuts the binding cords of pleasure-seeking. That enables you to resist the devil’s suggestions. That’s how you draw near to God and tap His bounteous springs of grace.

God jealously yearns for your whole-hearted devotion. If some worldly pleasure has become bigger in your life than God, it’s time to confess it. All four commands in verse nine call for repentance. That’s more than a hollow “I’m sorry.” The bottom line is to turn from pleasure-seeking to God. A good test is to consider what you think and talk about when you’re free to think and talk about anything. If it’s something other than God, you’re very likely caught in the snare of pleasure-seeking. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources

1. Church Giving Statistics, 2019 Edition - Pushpay

2. Average American Entertainment Expenditure - CreditLoan.com®

See the free spiritual resources at: https://www.christiangrowthresources.com

You may freely access my books, “Becoming an Enthusiastic Church” and “His Power for Your Weakness” at:

https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/becoming-an-enthusiastic-church and


Photo: Party People Summer - Free image on Pixabay

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