Why is it easy to believe that God would withhold something good from us? We may not ask the question much, but we often live as though that is what we believe. Although God sometimes gets a bad rap, He is a God that isn't opposed to pleasure, entertainment, and fun. God never attempts to keep us from something good. He is actually trying to take us in the direction of something far better that he has for us.
1. Has your experience with the local church in the past reinforced the idea that God is a killjoy? How so?
2. It often seems holiness and pleasure were presented as mutually exclusive. Why are these two things pitted against one another rather than viewed as two things that can both exist in our lives?
3. The scriptures says that there is pleasure in sin, but only for a season. Can you remember a time when a sin went from being pleasurable to having serious consequences?
4. When interpreting Old Testament stories, why do we tend to not think about God’s desire for us to have a pleasurable and enjoyable life?
5. God wired us to enjoy things such as food, sunrises, good company, music, and art. Do you often think of these pleasures as experiences that glorify God? Why or why not?
6. Were you presented with an image of Jesus as stiff and prudish or as a clever person who celebrated like others did? What does the prudish view do to our perspective of Jesus as we read through the New Testament? How does that change if we view Jesus as someone who celebrated?
7. As it relates to obeying God’s commandments, how does our definition of freedom and joy often work against us? Can you think of examples of Jesus’ commands that were clear and demanding but not oppressive?
8. John said God's command (such as loving God, loving people, and obeying God) are not burdensome. Why do so many people think the commands of God are burdensome?
10. Did you ever think being a Christian meant giving up fun? Has your mind changed? How so?
Start with laughing more and smiling more this week. Take a walk outside and pay attention to what you see and hear. Have a dinner party and enjoy great company. Realize as you do these things that God created you to enjoy this life and He is glorified by it.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) — So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.