5 things about pleasure

The true dimensions of a soul are seen in its delights.
~ John Piper

amaryllis

...And do not be grieved,
for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
Nehemiah 8:10

While I spent 2011 learning to depend more on God, I also was learning to delight more in Him.

Why?

Because if Christians—the very ones who’ve been granted abundant life already—can’t live in true joy, why would anyone want to become one?

That doesn’t mean we won’t have sorrows and pains. But underneath it all, we’ve been gifted to live life with a depth of pleasure unknown to those without the Spirit.

Here are five things I learned about delight:

1. Delight in Jesus
God’s first and highest pleasure is in his Son, so mine should be, too. I looked hard at scriptures that show where God finds delight, and decided I should find delight in the same places. God was most pleased with Jesus, so my delight should center there as well.

By my deepest pleasure being in him, I always have my greatest delight with me, regardless of what is going on around me.

2. He wants me to enjoy
When I take pleasure in what God gives me, it brings him pleasure, too. I honor the giver when I enjoy the gift.

Don’t we want our kids to enjoy the presents we give them? Of course; we take after our Father. So enjoy what he gives you.

3. Make pleasure work for you
God’s gifts are protection, refreshing you to keep you strong. Enjoy them responsibly within his boundaries. Let them lead you to God, not away from him.

We’re too weak to live without pleasures. God knows this; ask him for the right pleasures that will keep you satisfied in him. To borrow from Lewis’s Screwtape, God created pleasure, not Satan. Satan has to twist it before it’s useful to him.

4. Find pleasure in others
Don’t wait for others to be perfect before you enjoy being with them. Let your family know they’re a source of your joy—even with their faults.

And strive to become a source of joy to them—even with your faults.

5. Go for the best
Because we’re surrounded by multiple opportunities for pleasures, be picky to delight yourself in the best, godly ones.

Don’t fill up on junk pleasures with little value or godliness. Cultivate a strong appetite to enjoy what God designed you to enjoy.

Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

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Related:

Books I used to study delight in 2011:

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