I was recently in South Florida. The weather was fantastic and there was natural beauty everywhere. It was hard to come back to snow and sleet. But it wasn’t all great. The traffic was crazy. And the focus on pleasure seeking was easy to see.

When we were in South Beach you could not miss seeing the Rolls Royce cars, the luxury shops and the clubs. They were everywhere. It is ground zero for the commonly accepted concept of the good life.

But this fails to consider the long-term dimension of life and certainly ignores eternal life. Pleasure seeking has its thrills and fun, but it offers little if anything that will last into eternity.

King Solomon would have fit right in with today’s culture. He was committed to enjoying pleasure, enlarging his kingdom, acquiring more possessions than anyone and getting whatever his heart desired. Ecclesiastes 2:10 & 13 tells us, “I said to myself, ‘Have fun and enjoy yourself!’” He went on to say, “I wanted to find out what was best for us during the short time we have on this earth.”

He partied, built a beautiful home, amassed a fortune, had lots of sex and achieved great fame. He got whatever he wanted and did whatever made him happy. He achieved the ultimate in short-term pleasure and instant gratification. 

Yet, he eventually grieved over the outcome of his life. He said in verses 11 & 17, “Then I thought about everything I had done, including the hard work, and it was simply chasing the wind. This made me hate life.” His pursuits left him longing for something more.

That something more is God. Faith in God moves you out of a self-centered pursuit of life by introducing you to something bigger than yourself. God has created us to serve Him and others, not just focus on ourselves. We find significance when we don’t live for our pleasure but for God’s. Loving God and others bring the greatest satisfaction.

If you spend your life focused on yourself you will become enslaved to your own appetites. And you will never find the fulfillment you seek. Pleasure can be a delightful servant, if it is dedicated to God – but it makes a terrible master. 

Which master do you serve? What drives you? Are you squandering your future on short-term pleasure or are you building for eternity?


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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