Sunday, December 16, 2007

Perverted Pleasures

“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures forever more.” (Psl. 16:11)

Who among us does not like to be pleased? Besides our physical appetites—sustenance (Deut.23:24 & Esther 1:8) and sex (Gen.18:12 & Ezek.16:37)—there are individual wants that, when fulfilled, bring us delight and enjoyment. They satisfy a personal desire. For instance, when I have puzzled through an especially difficult and intricate problem, it gives me great pleasure. And finding a really great out-of-print book in an unexpected place can send me over the moon!

God, “who giveth us richly all things to enjoy,” has made provision for our pleasure. In fact, as the verse says, He keeps them close at hand—His right hand—ready to share with us. But like all things God has given us, Satan delights in seeing us pervert them. It pleases him, if you will. Perversion is distorting something good until it becomes something bad, changing the proper use into improper practice. Sometimes it is overt and obvious, as in sexual perversion; but sometimes it is unnoticed and subtle, as in tolerating questionable companions or developing all-consuming pastimes. Nearly anything can become perverted; and when that happens, it changes the way we live.

1. Perverted pleasures lead to careless, self-centered living.

“Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that
dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none
else beside me…” (Isa.47:8)

2. Perverted pleasures lead to fruitless living.

“And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they
have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and
pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” (Luke 8:14)

3. Perverted pleasures lead to (spiritual) adulterous living.

“… lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” (2 Tim. 3:4)

4. Perverted pleasures lead to hateful living.

“…serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful, and hating one another.” (Tit. 3:3)

5. Perverted pleasures lead to short-sighted living.

“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to
enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” (Heb. 11:25)

The end of allowing ourselves to pervert the pleasures God has given us to enjoy, is not a pretty picture. Sin never is. There is a difference between enjoying God’s gifts “richly” and enjoying them wrongly. This is one of those articles I write that calls for individual application. We each know what pleases us; and we must each decide if one or more of those things has become, or is in danger of becoming, perverted. To my mind, the most troubling verse I cited was 2 Timothy 3:4. Spiritual adultery—loving the pleasures of this world more than we love God—is a serious indictment. Some of us need to run quickly to the Lover of our souls, as He calls to us even now…

“Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Song of Solomon 2:10)


  1. i loved this post, i think i need to print it out and hang it on my mirror! haha at least the verses anyway!

  2. Dear "tenderheart...

    At least it'll be here when you need it again. Aren't blogs great?