by: Clayton King
Because I speak to so many people, lots of them ask me questions about things I preach about. While I hear some odd and interesting questions at times, the majority of the questions people ask me are variations of the same sort of things.
"So I'm dating someone and we really love each other. Is it really wrong to have sex, since we are gonna get married anyway?"
"God made marijuana, so what's so bad about smoking it? It's better than prescription medicine."
"I don't really see anything wrong with going to a club and dancing with my friends and having a good time, do you?"
"As long as we are not going all the way, how far is too far sexually?"
I always answer these questions patiently, honestly and biblically, but I must confess I sometimes grow weary of hearing people ask me for permission to sin, because at the root of these questions is often a desire to flirt with wickedness, not glorify God. I am not a legalist (far from it), but I must notice the motivation in my own heart when I begin looking for ways to justify behavior that may be wrong, sinful, unwise, or harmful to my testimony or the name of Christ.
The actual problem here (with these questions and with me...and you...) is that we are too easily satisfied. We swallow the lie that these sorts of things will give us happiness. Americans are possibly the worst in the world at pursuing meaningless treasures. Whether it's an affair with an old flame, a bigger paycheck, a nicer car, a degree from a prestigious institution, a secret porn addiction, a better tan, a slimmer figure, or successful kids, we always seem to be chasing after the next "happiness buzz." And just like a beer buzz, that happiness buzz wears off soon enough and we are right back in the chase, looking for the next thing to make us feel good.
Yet we were not designed to live like that. Not at all. The reason we are never totally satisfied with anything in this world is that we were not designed for this world at all. Our appetite for joy, beauty, peace, and happiness can only be truly quenched by someone, some-thing, that is all together different, other, and transcendent from our faculties and abilities to experience pleasure. Once we have encountered the Transcendent God in the person of Jesus Christ, all other things begin to feel and taste different. By enjoying the Giver of Life first, we can in turn enjoy all the things The Giver has given us. Food and drink and sex and accomplishment and music and laughter...all these flow from the mind of a good God who creates from His own goodness.
He, of all people, wants you to be happy, but more than that, He wants you to be holy; redeemed from the curse, resurrected from death, and given a new life and a new identity.
No wonder we are always asking the wrong questions! We have not found the right source of pleasure...or we have forgotten Him and how good He really is. We are too easily satisfied. Like eating a bologna sandwich on moldy bread when a six course feast has been prepared for us, we too quickly choose momentary pleasure over eternal joy.
C.S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory, says it this way,
"Our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We’re half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition. When infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum, because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
Learn more about Clayton King.