The Cross of Self-Pleasure

The classic vernacular of Christian sentiment is that Christians, once full given over to God, are now mandated to live for Christ and his perfect and pleasing will rather than one’s own will, which is deemed in the Bible as sinful and self-condemning.

In other words: when we said yes to Christ we said yes to a life surrendered to him. This means, out of joyful obedience, every decision we make or would think about making would be siphoned through a filter that accords itself with the Bible and the commands it lays out. This is everything from “thou shalt not murder” to living a life that is beneficial in preventing others from stumbling as a result of perceiving your life as sin, even though your behavior may not be inherently sinful.

In saying yes to Christ we also say “no” to anything that would dare inhibit an intimate relationship with Christ. Just like a married man would refrain from sex with any other woman apart from his wife so we must abstain from certain things that would inhibit our monotheistic relationship with Christ.

While there are obvious things that would clearly inhibit a relationship with Christ, here is one behavior that challenges millenials in our declaration of faith: Denying ourselves the self-pleasure and taking radical joy in being obedient to Christ.

The incentive for young people is to do as we will and live as we want as long as it falls within the rules. The spectrum is wide from folk that completely disregard the things of God to those that follow Christ too legalistically to the point where they miss the mark on the beautiful exchange of salvation we are offered.

The sin nature in each of us beckons us to pleasure ourselves in many forms. Our social status, possessions, careers often take precedent over an intimate relationship with Christ; the precedence referred to may not even take an explicit, ordinal nature.

Often times the question we ask ourselves when it comes to our behavior regarding Christ is this:

“Is this allowed?”

This question is entirely permissible for it is not inherently a terrible question to ask.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

-Matthew 16:24-25

The beauty of the Gospel is that there is an endless amount of joy, revelation, and perspective that we can gain from reading the Word of God and obeying his commands. Implicitly, this is my interpretation of these two verses: to the degree we will want to save our life, we will lose it; to the degree we want to lose our live, we will gain it.

Each one of us is admittedly on a unique journey; however we all know Christ and the goodness and grace he offers us. Let us seek and follow Christ until he calls us home.



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