When Pleasure Is Treasured

Read Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.... Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done ... everything was meaningless. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

Today's world is pleasure mad. Millions of people will pay almost any amount of money to buy experiences and temporarily escape the burdens of life. While there is nothing wrong with innocent fun, those who build their lives only on seeking pleasure are bound to be disappointed in the end.

Why? For one thing, pleasure seeking usually becomes a selfish endeavor, and selfishness destroys true joy. People who live for pleasure often exploit others to get what they want, and they end up with broken relationships as well as empty hearts. People are more important than things and thrills. We are to be channels, not reservoirs; the greatest joy comes when we share God's pleasure with others.

If people live for pleasure alone, enjoyment will decrease unless the intensity of the pleasure increases. Then they reach a point of diminishing returns when there is little or no enjoyment at all, only bondage. For example, the more people drink, the less enjoyment they get out of it. This means they must have more drinks and stronger drinks in order to have the same pleasure; the sad result is desire without satisfaction. Instead of alcohol, substitute drugs, gambling, promiscuous sex, money, fame, or any other pursuit, and the principle will hold true: When pleasure alone is the center of life, the result will ultimately be disappointment and emptiness.

Applying God's Truth:

1. On a scale of 1 (least) to 10 (most), to what extent would you say you are a pleasure seeker?

2. In what ways do people you know try to use pleasure to find fulfillment in life?

3. How can you enjoy life to the fullest, without having your pleasurable experiences diminish in effectiveness?

Devotions for Contentment and Wisdom ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

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