We are pressured into becoming mostly mindless, sensate, desire-fulfilling creatures of instinct. That’s how we are often expected to live and move and have our being. But one of the dignifying features of theism, and Christian theism specifically, is the acknowledgement that human beings are “more than” what our society pressures us into being. We have minds to know, hearts to grow in love and understanding, and beliefs to help order our ways in the world. Herein, the dignity of asking questions and discovering answers is given a hospitable home,” states author and Christian apologist, William Lane Craig in his newest book, A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity and the Bible.
This is it —exactly the conundrum we, as Christians in the American culture, find ourselves in. All around us, through advertising, movies, videos, etc., is the same message: “INDULGE YOURSELF.” You deserve it! You work hard for the money! Why not? And on and on those messages are pounded into our daily existence. If we give into those temptations, for a while it is pleasurable, and falsely rewarding. You think you’ve arrived into some great sense of happiness, but it’s an illusion. After the pleasure-seeking indulgence is over, your problems are still there. The pressures are still there. The pain remains.
In Christ, we are formed and shaped by His Spirit into “overcomers.” 1 John 5:4 says, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Your faith in Christ can help you overcome the world’s pull into the mindless, sensual, pleasure-seeking culture that drowns people daily. We do not have to succumb to this, and if we do, we know we can get out of it and get forgiveness to do better the next time. No one is perfect, and I am certainly not advocating perfection from all temptation. I still indulge in things that are not good for me, like overeating. I know it’s not good for my health, and I try to eat good food for my body, but then I stumble occasionally. Since I know I have a friend in Jesus, I ask for his help to be better the next time. I can never give into it all and allow the world to swallow me up. With Christ, I won’t give up! He makes me want to do better. It simply comes from within—a deep seated desire to Honor the One who created me. It’s His Spirit living inside me that makes me want to be all that He wants me to be!
So when the worlds pulls at you, cry out to Jesus and trust He will guide you through it. Give yourself grace when you stumble, and know that next time, you’ll do better, you’ll get stronger and you’ll grow from your experiences. Tough things happen, but those tough things can help define us. God uses circumstances in our lives to develop our character so we can become even better moral beings. It’s a soul-building time on Earth. When we reach glory (heaven), we will be more like Him – free moral beings who want to please our Father in heaven.