A young man was being interviewed about the massive college tuition debt he had accumulated. He told the reporter that he took on the debt of college to get a high paying job so that he could become rich and enjoy life.
That’s today’s world. It’s a “get-rich-so-I-can-spend-a-lot-of-money-on-making-my-life-more-enjoyable” world. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wealth, but it seems to me that those who seek riches to buy pleasure are bound for disappointment.
For one thing, people who live for pleasure often exploit others to get what they want, leaving a trail of broken relationships in their wake. If that weren’t enough, it often leaves them with empty hearts.
Pleasure, alone, will decrease unless the intensity of the pleasure increases. I heard Josh McDowell in a lecture about this one time, and he called it “the law of diminishing return.” He talked about people reaching a point of diminishing return when there is little or no enjoyment left at all; only bondage.
For example, the more people drink, the less enjoyment they get from it. You can substitute just about anything you want to in that equation: drugs, gambling, money, power, promiscuity, you name it.
The wise Solomon found it out the hard way: If you buy pleasure for pleasure’s sake, you will ultimately be disappointed and empty.
All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor … behold all was vanity and striving after wind … Ecclesiastes 2.10-11