The pleasure paradox

By Dave Henning / June 22, 2013

Pastor Kyle Idleman continues his discussion of pleasure in Chapter 6 of Gods at War by noting that pleasure has a rather unique trait: “the more intensely you chase it, the less likely you are to catch it.”  When we make the pursuit of pleasure our god, we experience anything but pleasure.  As the author pointedly and astutely asserts:

“The god of pleasure is the master of bait and switch, luring us in with images and promises that become the chains and shackles of our mental imprisonment.”

Pastor Idleman tells the story of getting his daughter, 4 years old at the time, a pet goldfish that they appropriately named Nemo.  One day the went swimming and decided to take Nemo along with them in a glass cup that they placed at the edge of the pool.  Feeling left out, Nemo flopped out of the cup and into the pool.  The water glass felt restrictive, the pool enticing.  When Kyle returned the dearly departed Nemo to the pet store later that day, he told the truth- Nemo drowned.

The author states that’s the way the gods of pleasure work- they tell you it’s impossible to be happy within the “restraints” God has established.  Worship, Kyle notes, is powerful and has huge consequences whether you worship Jesus or pleasure:

“If you worship God, it changes everything about you, and that creates positive ripples that echo into eternity.  If you worship fake gods, the ripples bring a little hell to earth.”

Today’s question: When pleasures tempt you to stray from your healing journey toward revisioning of your vocation, what Bible passages and promises of God restore your focus?

Tomorrow’s blog: “Watching or worshipping?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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