7 ways seeking pleasure aligns with Christian values

There’s a common misconception that Christianity is all about self-denial and austerity, that seeking pleasure is somehow against Christian values.

This is far from the truth.

In reality, Christianity encourages joy, fulfillment, and yes, even pleasure – provided it’s in harmony with God’s principles.

In fact, I’m going to share 7 ways seeking pleasure can perfectly align with Christian values. And I think you’ll find that there’s a lot of joy to be found in this balance.

So, get ready for some surprising insights as we delve into how the pursuit of pleasure can bring us closer to our Christian faith.

1) Enjoying God’s creation

The Bible declares that God created the world and everything in it, and He saw that it was good.

This suggests that there’s nothing inherently wrong with finding pleasure in the world around us. In fact, it can be seen as a form of worship and gratitude.

Imagine the joy of a painter seeing his artwork being appreciated, or a chef delighting in someone truly savoring their meal. In the same way, God, as our Creator, would surely delight in us finding pleasure in His creation.

So whether it’s enjoying a beautiful sunset, relishing a delicious meal, or basking in the warmth of friendship, these pleasurable experiences can be ways of acknowledging and appreciating God’s handiwork.

However, it’s essential to remember the balance – while we’re encouraged to enjoy God’s gifts, we should avoid making them our ultimate source of satisfaction. That place is reserved for God alone.

In essence, seeking pleasure in God’s creation is not only okay – it’s encouraged. But let’s not forget who gave us these gifts in the first place.

2) The joy of serving others

One of the most significant ways I’ve discovered that pleasure aligns with Christian values is through serving others.

I remember a time when I volunteered at a local soup kitchen. It was a cold, rainy evening, and I was tired after a long day at work. Honestly, I would have preferred to stay home, curled up with a book.

But I decided to go anyway.

And something amazing happened. As I served hot meals to those in need, listened to their stories, and saw their gratitude – I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and satisfaction.

It was a pleasure that surpassed anything else I could have chosen to do that evening. The act of giving, of putting others before myself, brought me a deep sense of fulfillment.

This experience taught me that seeking pleasure doesn’t mean always choosing the easiest or most comfortable option. Sometimes, it’s about stepping outside our comfort zone and finding joy in serving others.

And this aligns perfectly with Jesus’ teaching that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

3) Finding pleasure in prayer

Prayer isn’t just a duty or a ritual. It’s a conversation with God, an opportunity to connect with our Creator on a deep, intimate level.

In the book of Psalms, David often describes his longing for God’s presence and the joy he finds in prayer. In Psalm 16:11, he says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Scientific studies have even shown that prayer can have a positive effect on our mental and physical health, reducing stress and promoting a sense of peace.

So, seeking pleasure through prayer isn’t just spiritually beneficial – it can enhance our overall well-being too. And it’s another way that our desire for pleasure aligns perfectly with Christian values.

4) Cultivating meaningful relationships

As Christians, we are called to love one another. This doesn’t just mean being nice to each other – it means building deep, meaningful relationships.

There’s immense pleasure to be found in connecting with others on a profound level. Sharing our joys and sorrows, supporting each other in times of need, and simply laughing together can bring us happiness and satisfaction.

The Bible is full of examples highlighting the importance of relationships. Take the story of Ruth and Naomi, for instance. Their unwavering commitment to each other is a testament to the beauty of deep relationships.

So, fostering meaningful relationships is not only a Christian value but also a source of great pleasure. It’s about finding joy in our shared humanity and experiencing the love that God has for each one of us.

5) Embracing personal growth

I’ve often found that some of the most fulfilling pleasures come from personal growth. There’s something incredibly satisfying about overcoming challenges, learning new things, and becoming a better version of myself.

A few years ago, I struggled with a fear of public speaking. It was so bad that I would avoid any situation that required me to speak in front of a group.

But I knew I needed to face this fear. So, I started taking small steps – joining a local speaking club, practicing in front of friends and family, and gradually pushing my comfort zone. It was hard, and there were plenty of moments when I wanted to give up.

But I didn’t. And over time, I saw improvement. I began to feel more confident, more capable. The sense of accomplishment was incredible – it was a pleasure that outweighed the initial discomfort.

This journey taught me that seeking pleasure doesn’t always mean choosing the easy path. Sometimes, it requires us to face our fears, push our boundaries, and embrace personal growth.

And this aligns perfectly with Christian teachings about perseverance, personal growth, and becoming the best version of ourselves that we can be.

6) Experiencing the pleasure of rest

In our fast-paced world, rest can seem like a luxury we can’t afford. But rest is not just essential for our physical health – it’s a spiritual need too.

The Bible frequently talks about the importance of rest. In fact, one of the Ten Commandments is to observe a Sabbath day of rest.

But rest isn’t just about sleeping or doing nothing. It’s about taking time to rejuvenate, to reconnect with ourselves, and to enjoy the simple pleasures in life – reading a good book, taking a leisurely walk, spending time with loved ones.

These moments of rest can bring us immense pleasure and satisfaction. They provide us with the energy and clarity we need to face life’s challenges.

So, seeking pleasure through rest is not just beneficial – it’s a Christian value that aligns perfectly with our need for balance and well-being.

7) Loving and being loved

At the core of Christianity is the commandment to love – God, others, and ourselves. This love isn’t just about feelings – it’s an action, a decision, a way of life.

And when we truly embrace this love, we experience one of the deepest pleasures life has to offer.

There’s an incomparable joy in knowing we are loved by God, despite our flaws and mistakes. There’s a profound satisfaction in showing kindness and compassion to others, in seeing their lives touched by our love. And there’s a deep contentment in accepting ourselves, in knowing that we are enough just as we are.

So, the most important thing to understand about seeking pleasure and Christian values is this: they aren’t at odds. In fact, they beautifully align when we love fully and freely. Because true pleasure comes from love – loving God, loving others, and loving ourselves.

Final thoughts: Pleasure in harmony with faith

The pursuit of pleasure and Christian values might seem at odds on the surface. But when we delve deeper, we find a beautiful harmony.

In the Bible, King Solomon said, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).

This ancient wisdom echoes our discussion. Pleasure can be found in everyday experiences – in building relationships, serving others, appreciating God’s creation, growing personally, and even in rest.

And perhaps the most profound pleasure comes from love – love for God, love for others, and love for oneself.

So, as we navigate life’s complexities and challenges, may we remember that our faith does not call us to a joyless existence. Instead, it invites us to a life where pleasure and purpose coexist, where we can find joy in our journey with God.

Christianity is not about denying pleasure but about finding it in ways that align with God’s heart. It’s about experiencing the fullness of life that Jesus promised (John 10:10). And isn’t that a beautiful way to live?

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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