Pleasure

What You See As Pleasure, I See As Misery

I told Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, that one man’s pressure is another man’s pleasure. Repainting our kitchen cupboards on the outside and in the inside, was a labor of love for me. I was saving money by not putting in new cupboards. I enjoyed the sanding and painting, but painting is one of Ed’s least liked activities.

“Paint has a mind of its own, and it can run and drip and can appear where you never intended. To paint kitchen cupboards would be more than a big pressure on me – it would be misery,” Ed said.  

According to my old neighbor, there are two things no right-minded man should ever do. First, a man should not ever paint rooms in a house (including cupboards) or the outside of a house. Secondly, a man should never agree to any paint color other than the out-of-stock colors.

Ed’s attitude is closed toward painting. He isn’t going to do it unless his attitude would change for some reason. Isn’t it remarkable how changing our minds can be as rare as a miracle, but can become life-changing for us when we do change our minds?

The disciples of Jesus recognized their rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, as the Christ, the Son of the living God. They understood his identity but not his mission on earth as the anointed Savior or Messiah from God. They had pleasant thoughts of political glory and power for Jesus and ruling beside him when he became the King of the Jews independent of Roman domination. Their attitude was one of misery when Jesus told them that he would go to Jerusalem, suffer and be killed there and rise on the third day.

Jesus was setting an example for his disciples of how God works. Jesus would remain sinless and overcome sin and evil with good. Jesus sacrificed himself to the task of keeping God’s laws perfectly. He took himself as the sinless lamb of God to Jerusalem that he might lay down his life for the forgiveness of sinners. Jesus was under enormous pressure as God’s Son, but he lived in pleasure doing God his Father’s will. His life and death and resurrection on the third day were a labor of love to save sinners.

One might say Jesus was a living and dying sacrifice for sinners when he was on earth. Many refuse to admit they are sinners. There is no pressure for them to believe in Jesus because they are not in need of a Savior from their sin. Many of us have come to the place in our lives where we find that there is no point for us to pretend we are sinless when we are not. We admit to being sinners, but we are not defined by our sin because God doesn’t count our sins against us for the sake of our faith in Jesus. We are forgiven sinners given the opportunity to become living sacrifices following the life example of Jesus.

Many try to renew themselves with more money, power, health, time, etc. Confessing sinners know they can reinvest themselves as living sacrifices to God’s will, as Jesus did before them. They can renew themselves as the beloved sons and daughters of God now and in heaven.

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Raymond Maher
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