Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's Your Pleasure?

Tonight, I went out and picked up Taco Bell for dinner—just for me mind you.  My wife and son had already eaten, but I had a school board meeting that ran a little late, so I was on my own for dinner.  I didn’t necessarily need Taco Bell, but it sounded good, and since I’m the only one in the family who likes it, it’s my food of choice when I’m eating by myself.

Their Mexican Pizza is by far the most exquisite, delectable junk food I can imagine.  I’m sure it quite literally will be the death of me.

And there in lies the issue doesn’t it.  The things that bring us temporal pleasure in this world are killing us, literally killing us.

In church today this issue came up not once but twice, in Sunday school and in the pastor’s message.  That’s usually a pretty good sign that I need to perk up and pay attention.

In a society where our basic needs are met, it seems that our goals automatically shift to what will give us the greatest pleasure.  We blindly follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Physiological Needs > Safety Needs > Belonging Needs > Esteem Needs > Self Actualization.  

Pleasure in terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is fleeting.  Your physiological needs may be met today, but tomorrow famine might strike the land.  You may be safe today, but tomorrow someone might steal your wallet/purse and your identity along with it.  You may greatly love the family you belong to, but tomorrow they could all be killed in a car crash.  You may have great self-esteem, but tomorrow you may be humbled.  Self-actualization does not last because, this may come as a shock to many readers, the world does not revolve around you. It doesn’t revolve around me either.

In reality, there is no hierarchy of needs.  The road to fulfillment doesn’t look like a rainbow pyramid.  There are no steps to reach self-actualization.  There is only one need, and it’s not some thing that you can just check off a list; in fact, it’s a He not a thing at all, and His name is Jesus Christ. 

Pleasure that lasts only comes through Him.  Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

When we do those things that please God, He takes care of the rest.  When we give up self, we can be Spirit-actualized, which is an eternal pleasure that no circumstance will ever take away.  That’s Good News! 

So, I’m sorry Taco Bell, but as tasty as your Mexican Pizza is, I’d give it and you up in an instant if it pleased my savior, and I’d happily say that about any temporal pleasure on this Earth. 

Now dear reader, let me ask you:  How willing are you to give up your worldly pleasures for the sake of the One who gave Himself for you?


Courtney said...

Visiting from Hear it/Use it and I'm intrigued. I love the simplicity of how it all comes down to Christ. Great thoughts.

Anonymous said...

It is so hard to keep our needs and our wants separate.

RCUBEs said...

Truly, nothing here in this world lasts. Everything is just a temporary fix. The Lord had taught me to be contented before but now, as I go through a tough battle at work, He is teaching me to even be more...He is our All in All...Glory be to God! God bless you and you're right! That junk food would do you no good! May you remain strong with His power!

Twiz said...

I found this very challenging. I accepted Maslow’s hierarchy thirty years ago and I am still supporting the teaching of this theory as you say “blindly”. This made me think about the many Christians who have all their needs met and are “spirit-actualised” although they be on the lower levels of Maslow. Thank you for the thought provoking teaching.

Dave Lord said...

A spiritual discipline it seems I must learn every day. Thanks for the unique encouragement!


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