Christian Hedonism: Seeking God's pleasure and pleasure in God.

In "Surprised by Joy" C.S. Lewis defines joy in a very strange way. He says that joy is not getting what you want but the actual desire of it. He describes it as a longing. An intense desire ignited by something incredibly good.

Mark Driscoll described his hell as an airplane. He evidently hates everything about flying. But he described how the experience becomes a heavenly one when accompanied by his wife. How the loneliness, the discomfort and the pain of flying is erased by the presence of one whom he loves dearly.

When we are near people that we care about our desire for them is increased. In the same sense with God the more time we spend with Him the greater our desire becomes. The more we experience God the more we want to experience God.

In a sense, I believe God's love is the antithesis to the seductions of the world. Whereas reliance on all earthly pleasures for fulfillment will lead us to unhealthy, unfulfilling and even deadly dependency, reliance on God's love results in a dependency on something healthy, fulfilling and life-giving. Reliance to worldly solutions can cause a person to deteriorate into a shell of a being. The reason that addictions are so prevalent in the human race is that we are designed to love something with reckless abandon and we pridefully choose things that are controllable but insufficient. I would even be so bold to say that our need for love is infinite and we apply the finite, that which has a beginning and an end to that which does not, our souls. We are designed to be addicted to God's infinite love.

To illustrate my idea in the negative, imagine that sin as the Bible refers to it is offensive to God because it steals His glory and harms us. It takes from us our native purpose. Many of the things that seem so good, and in fact are good, become harmful when used wrong. That is to say when we use what God has made for us as though we were made for it then we sin. And the thing that gets overlooked so often is that sin is offensive to God because it harms the ones He loves so dearly. We often don't see how something that feels good could be harming us, so we naturally assume that God must just be a killjoy. Unfortunately, we make this uninformed judgment on God because we are ignorant to how much we are missing out on.

In light of this belief it makes sense to try fulfilling our every desire in God. This means when you feel bored, horny, depressed, empty, ugly, unwanted, hateful, anything and everything, you turn the desire over to God. Love is the answer to all these things. Turning our need for love over to God is what He requires of us,"Love the Lord, your God with all your Heart." We desire every day. The opportunities are there. In seeking to let God fill me when I feel these needs occur I allow my love for God to increase and increase my desire (joy) for Him. In loving God, you necessitate more need for Him. He grows like an addiction in you.

No comments: