by David Champ, Director of Youth and Family Ministries
There is a lot of modern philosophy out there that suggests all this life is good for is your own happiness. Truth is then defined by emotions, not by Scriptural teachings. Our culture runs rampant with this idea. Obviously, this is in direct contrast to God’s way. We see examples of what Hedonism can lead to in the Garden and in the life of King David.
In Genesis 3 we read that the Serpent challenged Eve on the grounds of God’s Word. He was able to twist it and convince her that what she really wants is to be like God and put her interests ahead of serving the Lord. Both she and Adam bit the apple from the one tree they were not supposed to and inflicted humanity with a fatal disease. Because of their sin, we all received the condemnation from the Lord “from dust you came, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3:19) So the pursuit of happiness for Adam and Eve did not result in the happiness they were looking for, but in death.
Much is the same of King David’s desire for Bathsheba. In 2 Samuel 11, we see that David witnesses Bathsheba bathing and desires her. He sends for her, sleeps with her, and ends up impregnating her. Through a course of unfortunate events, David sends Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to be killed on the front lines. Not only does Uriah die, but some innocent soldiers and eventually the child of David as well. Again, the pursuit of happiness ends in death.
If we take the example of Christ we see a different result. What is Christ seeking to do? Live a happy life? No. Instead, according to Philippians 2, He seeks the betterment of mankind. In doing so, it gets Him killed, yet it ironically ends up in life. So what we can glean from the life of Christ is that by dying to oneself, giving up what we desire, it leads to life. What Scripture teaches is that the pursuit of one’s own gain leads to death, and the pursuit of serving others leads to life. Yes, this is very counter-cultural. But it does make sense given the witness of Christ. Each of us are called in Philippians 2 to follow His example and serve others. I challenge each of you to think creatively about how to serve your family first, then your neighbors and in doing so, breathe life into them by the power of the Spirit.