In this audio talk, David Powlison addresses the question of how we handle living in a culture that is focused on entertainment, amusement, recreation, and pleasure. We need to rethink what is meant by pleasure. Christians often see pleasure as hedonism and react to it – preferring stoicism, as if it is more godly. Powlison asks the question: What gives you simple pleasure? What truly refreshes you? What are the pleasures in your life that leave no oily residue? What situations trigger escape from reality to guilty pleasures? Scripture captures the unique interplays between pain and pleasure, suffering and rejoicing.
Powlison argues that pleasure crosses a line from innocent to guilty when 1.) The pleasure is simply wrong, 2.) It captivates and captures you, 3.) You hide what you’re doing, 4.) You use it as your refuge from pain, 5.) It steals you away from good things, 6.) It doesn’t deliver what it promises. As we move further into guilty pleasures, it takes more and more to satisfy our lust and the pleasure we receive becomes dull, like an addictive cycle. Powlison discusses the redemption of pleasure through practical means. Restoration and purification of pleasure is a work is one of the prime works of the Holy Spirit.
Key Scriptures: Romans 5; 1 Corinthians 6; Psalm 23