It has been said that the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it.
If you chase after pleasure, you will eventually come to the same conclusion as King Solomon: “I said to myself, ‘Come now, be merry; enjoy yourself to the full.’ But I found that this, too, was futile. For it is silly to be laughing all the time; what good does it do?” (Ecclesiastes 2:1–2 TLB).
The Bible tells us that if the driving desire of our lives is to please ourselves, that very quest will be the source of endless problems and heartaches. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it” (James 4:1–2 NLT).
The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. It comes down to this: If you live for yourself and your own happiness and pleasure, then you will be a miserable person. It’s ironic that the people who live for happiness never find it, while the people who live for God find happiness as a byproduct. The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. They may find little bits here and there, but nothing to speak of—certainly nothing enduring. Yet the people who live for God experience the ultimate pleasure: a joy that bubbles up from deep down in the inmost being.
Pleasure isn’t, in itself, a bad thing, although you might get that impression from some Christians. I think the Christian life is the most pleasurable life around. Why? Because God is the Creator of light and laughter and joy. . .beginning here and now, and stretching on into eternity. The Bible teaches, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11 NIV).
Cheap thrills are a dime a dozen. True and lasting happiness comes from the hand of God.