You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
— Psalm 16:11
It has been said the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it.
If you chase after pleasure, you eventually will come to the same conclusion as King Solomon: "I said to myself, 'Come on, let's try pleasure. Let's look for the "good things" in life.' But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, 'Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?' " (Ecclesiastes 2:1–2).
The Bible tells us that if our intense desire is to please ourselves, then it will be the source of all of our problems: "What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don't they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it . . . " (James 4:1–2).
It comes down to this: If you live for yourself and your happiness and your pleasure, then you will be a miserable person. It's ironic that the people who live for happiness never find it, while the people who live for God find happiness as a byproduct. The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it—they may find little bits here and there, but nothing to speak of. Yet the people who live for God experience the ultimate pleasure.
Pleasure is not in itself a bad thing, although you might get that impression from some Christians. I think the Christian life is the most pleasurable life around. Why? Because the Bible teaches, speaking of God, "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever" (Psalm 16:11). True happiness comes from God.
- - Greg Laurie