“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” CS Lewis – The Weight of Glory (1965, pg 1-2)
Those are pretty powerful, very challenging words from CS Lewis, one of the greatest Christian writers of the 20th century. We are far too easily pleased. God has promised us so, so much. We get to spend eternity in heaven with Him. He gave his Son to die for us (see John 3:16). He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us live for Him. He has set us free from the slavery of sins (see John 8:36). He promises that one day we will rule over the angels (Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 6:3). He has a heavenly home set aside for us where the streets are paved with gold. We have been called to receive “his [Jesus] own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). These are just some of the staggering rewards promised in the Gospels, and yet we have settled for so much less.
We have contented ourselves with doing what we can to enjoy life now. We are happy spending our time watching TV sitcoms or sports games. We have been promised that through the power of the Holy Spirit we can do greater works than Jesus did (Jesus says this in John 14:12), and yet we are happy to sit back with our feet up. God has great things planned for us as we grow closer to Him, but we are satisfied with where we are now, not wanting to put in the effort to move from baby milk to solid spiritual food (see Hebrews 5:12). We don’t want to put in the effort to grab the knife and fork to feed ourselves and are happy with being fed every now and again by someone else, our minister or youth pastor. We are far too easily pleased.
Mark Driscoll (pastor of Mars Hill Church and author of several books) puts it like this: “When it comes to living for God’s glory or our happiness, we tend to pick happiness and that’s when we sin. Sin is when we look at our options and say, “I can either glorify God or choose what think I need to be happy. I will eat a whole chocolate cake. I will drink light beer and I will get naked. I’ll be happy. I’m not gonna glorify God. I’m gonna be happy with a chocolate cake, the six-pack and the naked person. That will make me happy.” That’s why we choose sin.” (from http://blog.marshillchurch.org/2010/08/05/you-could-have-god-and-you-chose-light-beer/ accessed 03/09/10)
So as part of our strive towards spiritual maturity, as we work to “grow into the fullness of [our] salvation” (1 Peter 2:2) we have to stop being so easily pleased. We need to stop being content with lesser things like drink, sex, fame, wealth, material good, the latest Apple product and other such mud pies when God has a holiday by the sea waiting for us. It’s about not choosing the things that will make us happy for a short time now, but choosing the One who will give us eternal happiness. Jesus.
- Chosen and called