Good And Bad Pleasure

April 11, 2016

                                  Good and Bad Pleasure

Sometimes we hear the word “puritanical” used in speaking of the Christian life.  According to the Merriam Webser’s Dictionary, the word means “one who practices or preaches a very strict moral code.” There are those who think Christians cut themselves off from pleasure that is culturally acceptable.

With almost everything in life, there are extremes.  It is possible to go to the extreme in our self-denial.  Most people don’t have a problem with that.  The more common problem is to go too far to the other extreme.  This article was written to help Christians know where they should draw the line in regard to pleasure.  The criterion for unbelievers is to ask if a certain behavior is culturally acceptable.  The criterion for God’s people should be to ask two questions.  They are; is it pleasing to God? And will it hurt me or those around me?

The Christian life is not devoid of pleasure.  If you hear a genuine Christian say, “Everything I want is either prohibited or fattening” you can be almost sure that it was said in jest.  In Psalm 16:11 we read, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” God gives us joy, pleasure and satisfaction in doing what is right.

We all have our likes and dislikes.  What one finds pleasure in doing is boring for someone else.  The word pleasure comes from the word “please” or “pleasing.”  We need to keep in mind that just because something gives us pleasure doesn’t make it right for us.

The following are some questions you can ask yourself to help you know if something is right for you.

  1. Does the Bible say it is wrong?
  2. Will it be detrimental to my health and well-being?
  3. Will it be detrimental to others?
  4. Will I be taking undue advantage of others?
  5. Does it demand too much of my time or money?
  6. Do I feel that it’s best that others don’t know that I do it?
  7. If I do it will I lose the respect of those who love me?
  8. Does doing it tempt me to evil thoughts?

There may be times when others will suffer because we chose to do what is right. For example, let’s suppose you were lying to cover up the truth about someone who is doing wrong.  That might even mean that you are an accomplice in a crime.  It could also be that you are receiving stolen goods.  You may have to tell him, “Look, I’m sorry but the next time I’m asked about you I will have to tell the truth, because I can’t go on telling lies.”  One of the Ten commandments is “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16).

Taking heed to what I Thessalonians  5:15, 21-22 says will be a help to you.  “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

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