Read Ecclesiastes 8:15
15 So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun. (NLT)
A Christian author once wrote her autobiography which included accounts of her very pious church elder father. She wrote, “He was entirely unselfish, and in his long life never committed a pleasure.” How sad if that were to be our own epitaph.
It is so easy to go to extremes and instead of avoiding selfish indulgence we end up avoiding pleasure itself. We so much want to steer clear of sin that we squeeze any residual enjoyment out of life. Obeying the commands of God becomes a joyless, life-denying existence that not only leads to misery but also to a perverse pride.
Following Jesus is not simply about denying ourselves pleasure, though depending on our definition of ‘pleasure’ some sort of denial may be right and proper. It is about embracing all the delightful things he gives us in a spirit of gratitude, living the sort of life he has created us to live. We are not to be purse-lipped killjoys who loudly and repeatedly wag our fingers at those who celebrate life.
As our writer says, there is much hard work to be done, and much self-denial to be practised. But have a bit of fun along the way.