Appetite for Destruction1
Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.
- Philippians 3:19a
Yesterday we read about the enemies of the cross. Today, Paul describes them. When we were discussing this, the phrase "their god is their stomach" jumped off the page to us.
Our appetites ... for food and sex and power and things like these ... our appetites exert a constant pull on us. "Let me be your source of joy," they shout in the morning. "I will give you joy," they cry in the night. They pull and pull and pull.
When we make our appetites our gods they make big promises that they cannot deliver on. They drag us down into the pit. Paul's right. When our gods are our stomachs, destruction and shame always follow. If we allow our appetites to run roughshod over our lives, they will destroy us.
The problem with our appetites is not that we have appetites. Our stomachs make bad gods, but God made our stomachs. As long as we don't take them too seriously our appetites make for pleasant pets. But they always make for terrible masters.
CS Lewis pulled it together like this:
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Where in your life do you think you might be "far too easily pleased"? What do you think you might be missing?
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