Have you ever felt guilty because of pleasure? I am in the process of reading a wonderful book called “Becoming Worldly Saints: Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life?” by Michael Wittmer. Don’t let the title scare you. It isn’t about becoming some carnal Christian, but rather about enjoying the things that God has blessed us with. Somehow we have associated God’s creation and the pleasures of life as being somehow opposed to God. We feel that if we are actually enjoying life that must mean that somehow we are doing something wrong. Why would we think that our God would want us to live in a constant state of miserableness? God created these things for us to enjoy. This recently came up when my wife and I made a purchase. Our car broke down and we needed a new one. Now, we are cautious with our money (ask my daughters the dollar yogurt story…I have to hear it every time we pass the dairy aisle!), so my wife and I had budgeted for this, and so we went and got a car. We could have got a old used clunker (which kind of got us in the predicament…another story), but my wife has always dreamed of owning a Toyota (Her dad used to sell them). Not just a Toyota, but a new Toyota. So we looked at what we could afford and justify with our spending, and so we bought a little Corolla. And it is a nice car. It’s not overly extravagant, it’s a smaller car, but it has the bells and whistles. Now, when my wife drives (I have only been allowed to drive it once!), do you think she should be thinking, “God, I feel so guilty for having this car when there are so many needs in this world.” or do you think she should roll down the windows, go cruising on the windy Kentucky back roads and say, “God, thank You for allowing me to have the ability to purchase this car.”
Of course, God is the ultimate source of our pleasure, and all things need to be enjoyed in moderation and with responsibility (like buying a new car that cost more than what you make in 5 years while your children are starving and in need of diapers…oh yes, I have seen it. Can you say “TRUCK and BOAT combo!”). Give thanks, enjoy, and give back (like let your husband drive the car!).
Today, enjoy life. Enjoy God. Enjoy the life He has given you and those He has given you to spend it with.
1 Timothy 4:4-5
4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.