Written by: Mike Donehey
Written on: Wednesday, March 12, 2008


In lieu of a conservation with my friend Kris today,
I thought it worth mentioninga1
that I am, indeed, a Christian hedonist.
And by that, I mean, that it is my God given privilege,
right, and duty to get as much pleasure for the longest amount of time
that I possibly can.
Provided, the source of my satisfaction is Christ and his commands,
which ultimately are given to us, not to ruin our fun and spoil our good time,
but rather, they are given for the maximization of our joy.
God is all about my joy, and very angry toward those who refuse
the pleasure that He offers.
I grieve for those who do not believe this way.
For, every decision we will make in this life is driven, fueled, and motivated by our selfish,
God-given desire for joy. It is in us, it is all around us, it is at the core of our composition.
Blaise Pascal argued that even the man who commits suicide
does so in order to find joy.
Everything we do, whether we lie, cheat, worship, or steal,
we are always doing what we ultimately believe will give us the most pleasure,
and sadly, we seldom believe that Christ has the most of that to offer us.
And isnít this, after all, the very essence of sin?
To enjoy the things that God has made,
more so than God Himself?
To make God look small by preferring a mud-pie in the slums,
when He is offering a holiday at sea?
Sadly, I think the answer is yes.
This is sin, and this is what we must fight against.
Deceitful desires, preposterous silly inclinations that toil to deter us from the Creator
and unto the created. We are in a fight, and that fight is for joy.
So why do we turn to the things that donít satisfy?
Well, many would say itís because our sinful tendencies are much too strong for us.
They overwhelm us. They wage war and cannot be overcome.
And while we will struggle with sin our whole lives, Lewis would respond to these
objections by saying, “it is not that our desires are too strong,
nay, they are too weak, for we are far too easily pleased.”
So sad. So sad.
For even Christ went to the cross FOR THE JOY set before him,
and so how much more should we be led, enticed, and propelled by
our desire for joy. Even when we deny ourselves and take up our cross,
we do so to follow Jesus. And everything thatís promised us when we get to Him
is pleasure! Even when find our life by losing it, we do so, because we donít
want to lose it in the first place!

We are in a fight for joy.
A battle for enjoyment.
And may we only receive the grace to find it in the right place.

“I give you these commands, that my joy might be in you,
and that your joy might be complete.” -Jesus
“The chief end of man, is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
-the Westminster Catechism

Mike D