Poisoned pleasures - Hope 103.2

Poisoned pleasures

By David ReayWednesday 28 Dec 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Psalm 16:11

11          You show me the path of life.
                  In your presence there is fullness of joy;
                  in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (NRSV)

In his book Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis records the senior devil reminding the junior devil that all real pleasure is from God. He admits that the forces of evil have never been able to create a true pleasure. He further reminds the junior devil that human beings can be tempted only by corrupting the pleasures of God.

Good things can so easily become bad things if used the wrong way, thought of the wrong way. A good thing may cease to be a good thing if indulged in to excess, or if indulged in at the wrong time. A pleasure may be a good servant and a bad master.

Close and loving families can become controlling and enmeshed families. Sexual pleasure can become manipulative and exploitative if divorced from commitment. Love of creation can become worship of creation. Love of food can become gluttony. Getting enjoyment from our material possessions can drift into greedy materialism.

We need the wise and strong help of the Spirit of God if we are to enjoy our pleasures as they were meant to be enjoyed. Ultimately the key question is this: are these pleasures gratefully received as gifts from the hand of God, or are they ends in themselves? We are to give first place to the God who gives pleasures, not to the pleasures themselves.

David Reay