Life is not Pleasure
While growing up, one of the things that I desired is to be comfortable. To own a big house, furnish it with expensive furniture and décor. To get the best clothes and shoes. Wear the best hairstyles, live in well-known posh estates, and drive around in the latest car brands. I worked hard all my time in school hoping that my hard work will finally reward me with the kind of lifestyle that I desired. I reckoned that these things will give me pleasure and I will lead a fulfilled life. However, I made some Discoveries from the Bible that I applied and my life became different. I made a discovery that I should be a steward and a steward has an understanding that all the resources that are in his/her life are God’s. They understand that they are managers of God’s property. A steward never views property as their own, to use lavishly on their own pleasures. But instead finds pleasure and complete satisfaction in bringing pleasure to God by obeying Him and seeking His will.
We came to this world with nothing and we will leave it with nothing. All the resources that we have in our hands are provided for us by God. This means that they really are not ours to own and use entirely to fulfill our own pleasures. We need to ask God to direct us on how to use them because God wants to involve us to co-work with Him in building His kingdom here on earth. To fit in well into God’s plan calls for selflessness, generosity, and yielding to God’s heart. This can be seen to a very large extent in Charles Feeney’s attitude. It is said that he loved to make money but did not love to speed it on himself.
Charles Francis Feeney was an Irish-American businessman and philanthropist who made his fortune as a Hong Kong-based Duty-Free Shoppers Group co-founder. He founded the Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations. But surprisingly, Charles lived with his wife in an ordinary rental apartment in San Francisco. He never wore branded clothing, and his watches were functional and non-glamorous. Charles did not have his own car, his primary means of transportation was the bus, and the bag he used for work was an old plastic bag. In his lifetime, he donated more than $8 million to charitable causes; $588 million to Corell University, $125 million to the University of California, and $60 million to Stanford University. Outside of the United States, he built seven Universities in Ireland. He did not focus on spending the money on himself. Charles never sought praises for himself, and he did not reveal his identity in association with each donation; he asked for his donations to be made anonymously. The media revealed his deeds towards the end of his life.
When the media questioned him about the motivation behind donating all of his wealth to charity, he said that “people are born naked, and they finally die alone” that no one can carry the wealth and reputation that he himself has been striving for, for a lifetime.”
I discovered that men without understanding will praise you for obtaining a prominent position and gathering property. But what worth will it be to be approved by men if God condemns us? We brought nothing into the world, and we shall not carry anything out; we must leave all to others. It cannot profit a man anything to get the whole world, to possess all its wealth and all its power if he loses his own soul.
The Road down a Life of Pleasure
In 1Tim. 5:6, Paul describes a pleasure-seeking woman who lives a wanton, loose, and lustful life, serving divers lusts and pleasures as being dead in sins while she lives in them. There is a similarity between moral/spiritual and natural death. In a natural death, the soul is separated from the body, while in a moral death souls are separated from God and are alienated from the life of God because Christ, the author, and giver of spiritual life, is absent in such a soul. Such a soul does not have Christ’s Spirit, the Spirit of life. Moral death defaces the image of God that a man bears, resulting in loss of the original righteousness. Natural death strips a man naked of everything, as he was born into the world, and sin, which brings on this moral death, strips man of his moral righteousness.
People who are dead, morally or spiritually, have no true sense of sin and are blind to their state and condition. They are not concerned about sin and are not troubled by it but find it pleasurable. They boast about it and are addicted to it. They are similar to dead men as dead men are helpless, and they can do nothing for themselves in matters of a spiritual nature. They are unprofitable to God and man as dead men are unprofitable to others. They corrupt good manners by their evil communication, and as dead bodies are non-responsive, so are such persons, especially to a pure and holy Being. Pleasure-seekers like dead men, are deprived of their senses. They are blind and are unable to see and discern the things of the Spirit of God, they have no ears thus cannot hear the joyful sound of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to understand it, approve of it, and find pleasure in yielding to its demands. They are burdened with the weight of their sinful pleasures. They have no taste and savor of the things of God, but only of the things of men; so that in a spiritual sense, they are dead, while they are alive.
In his endless search for meaning, King Solomon tested a life of Pleasure and amusement. He tested the theory many live under today; that the meaning of life is found in more and varied pleasures, entertainments, and excitements. But he discovered that it was all vanity. Life is primarily about God’s Pleasure, not ours! If we focus on learning God, understanding His ways, and doing only what pleases Him, we bring Pleasure to Him. Bringing Pleasure to God is the only way to bring meaning and satisfaction to our own lives because that is why we were created. For God and not for ourselves.
In a small DBS – Discovery Bible Studies group, do a DBS of what life is not: Study 1Tim 5:6; Rev 4:11. Send us your feedback, we are looking forward to hearing from you, [email protected]
Joy Minayo is a disciple-maker in the Activate Kenya community, she enjoys using online media, writing blogs to reach the unreached.
Bible gateway passage: Psalm 49:20 – Amplified Bible. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2049%3A20&version=AMP
Edgar, D. (2020, September 27). Chuck Feeney: The billionaire who gave it all away. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-54300268
Psalm 49:20 commentaries: Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish. (n.d.). Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/psalms/49-20.htm Articles from the School of life. (2020, September 30).