The Driving Forces Of Pain And Pleasure
Reading one of my morning devotions this morning I read the following quote:
“After all, the Bible says the just shall live by faith (see Galatians 3:11); it doesn’t say they will live by feelings.”
While I understand the premise, that there are times when we do not feel our faith but need to exercise our faith regardless of lack of feelings, the fact is we do live by feelings.
I wish that Christians would discover in God’s Word the truth – much as psychologists and psychiatrists have discovered in their research – that everyone on planet earth is driven by the desire to fulfill two goals: 1) The desire to avoid pain and 2) the desire to gain pleasure. Only the pride of man will deny this truth.
The pride of man wants to believe it is his will-power and/or his decisions that guide his life in spite of what the Word of God reveals in:
Proverbs 16:9 KJ2000 A man’s heart plans his way: but the LORD directs his steps.
Jeremiah 10:23 KJ2000 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
John 15:5 KJ2000 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
John 5:19 KJ2000 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for whatsoever things he does, these also does the Son likewise.
God never created man with the power to successfully direct his own life. Even Christ Himself said he was powerless without His father. Everything you do in life is guided by your faith as to what YOU BELIEVE will bring you pain and what YOU BELIEVE will bring you pleasure. If you’re a devoted Christian, you devote your life to Christ either because you believe life would be too painful without Him or because you believe He is your greatest source of pleasure or a combination of both.
This was God’s intention when He made us. He put within us these controlling emotions to humble us and to drive us to Christ. For every obedience to Christ there is a blessing attached and for every disobedience there is a consequence attached. Oh what a blessed life it is to serve Him and what a dreaded life it is to reject Him.
If you disagree with the above, I would love for you to present your arguments in the comments below, for every person who has ever disagreed with me concerning our driving force of pain and pleasure – once I drill them down with a few questions they always end up admitting there are emotions of pain and pleasure driving their actions in life.
Go ahead – take a stab at it… The best argument I can come up with is when someone is willing to give his own life to protect another life – such as a secret service agent, etc. But even then there are emotions of pain and pleasure that have been anchored within the heart and mind of the agent. For HE BELIEVES his life is not as valuable as the one he is protecting and/or BELIEVES his duty to the one he is protecting is greater than his duty to himself, thus he is anchored to the belief that there is greater pain in avoiding his duty than to honor his duty and sacrifice his life. Or he is driven and anchored by the pleasure of being noble of knowing he is willing to do the right thing.
Jesus agreed with me that someone (like Himself) who is willing to lay down his own life is being driven by the pleasure of love.
John 15:13 KJ2000 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
No matter how hard you try, everything we do in life is related to our desire to either gain pleasure or avoid pain.
This is why it is so tragic so many Christians paint our life with Christ as some grievously difficult task. It is so tragic we as Christians are not holding up life with Christ as the most blessed experience on earth. It is so tragic the enemy – much through our complaining – has blinded so many people when in truth – their happiness is free for the asking.
1 John 5:3 KJV For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.