15
Jan
09

Too easily satisfied

C. S. Lewis once wrote: 

“Our passions are not too strong, they are too weak. We are far too easily pleased”

I agree with Lewis. We are far too easily pleased. It’s far too easy for Satan, who is the master of counterfeits to produce some kind of fake version of something God has created and have us waste our time chasing this. I have been pondering the idea of counterfeits these past few weeks on a regular basis. My Mac-dictionary defines counterfeit like this: 

made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud” (adjective) and “a fraudulent (made for the purpose of deception) imitation of something else; a forgery” (noun)

That’s what Satan does. It’s the only thing he is capable of doing. He cannot create anything. Only God can do that. But Satan is a copycat and most people buy into the counterfeit instead of the original. And they end up trapped. The old movie line goes that first time you buy drugs from somebody in the street it’s free, but the next time you’ll pay! That’s how Satan is. He makes lots of promises, and we buy into them. “if only you lose 40 pounds before March, he’ll love you“, “if only you were beautiful, you would have a boyfriend“, “if only you had more…….(fill in the blank), you would be satisfied“. 

He may try to tempt us to break what we know to be God’s good and life giving advice for our lives: “why not sleep with your boyfriend, everybody else does it, and besides who will get hurt….you guys love each other“, “why not cheat, steal, copy illegal stuff….it’s not like it’s gonna hurt anybody“, “why not watch some porn on the internet…she’ll never know“, “what’s wrong in fantasizing about another man….it’s not like your husband is satisfying you“, “of course you need to have an abortion….this thing in you is an inconvenience, and you can’t afford diapers and all that stuff, and besides listen to the doctor who said that it’s not even a baby yet, it’s just some thing in there

Or he may be attacking God’s promises: “abundant life? Yeah, right…it doesn’t really exist. Plus who cares anyway….as long as I’m saved it doesn’t matter what I do“, “peace? Joy? Love? Whatever…you do experience some of that, and this is as good as it gets“, “God changing you from within? Easy now…let’s not get too carried away, you don’t want to be too radical, and besides what’s wrong with you?

I am sick and tired of Satan’s counterfeit pleasures, and I’m angry at how often I give into them and buy into Satan’s lies in different areas of my life. 

Every time I do it, I face the consequences. Giving into Satan’s counterfeits instead of seeking God’s original and life giving truths always comes with a price tag. Every single time. You will always pay a price. God paid the price for you once and for all, but if we choose to ignore him, and still interact with Satan’s pleasures, there is a price to pay. And the price for many people I encounter in my work as a discipleship counselor or in private conversation are: broken relationships, broken marriages, mediocre relationships or marriages, mediocrity in every aspect of their lives, sadness, unfulfilled desires and dreams, shut down hearts, lack of intimacy with God and other people (“if they found out who I really am…then….”), depression, etc., etc., etc. Just as there is no end to the variety of temptations, there is no end to the consequences. They all have one thing in common though: they rob us of real life, joy, fulfillment, wonderful marriages and other relationships, peace, the experience of real, radical love, etc. 

There is always a price to pay. It may appear harmless and fun in the beginning when you walk down the well-worn path of following what seems to be your own desires, but are actually desires that Satan and indwelling sin have lured you into thinking are your own. This applies to you if you’re a believer (if you’re not a believer you’re just following the desires of your father, since you still belong to Satan!), and you have the Holy Spirit within you. Romans 5 and 6 point to the wonderful fact that as believer you have died with Christ, and you don’t have to follow the desires of the flesh. You can walk in the Spirit (Romans 8), abide in Christ (John 15), and be sure to experience abundant life (John 10:10) as you do that! But…you do have a choice, and I see myself, and many other people I know on an ongoing basis make the sad choice of walking after the flesh, and follow the desires of their old nature, even though this nature has been crucified and is dead and without power in our lives, unless we choose to give it power. Sin will feel good for a short time. But it’s just like peeing in your pants on a cold, cold day. It feels good for a little bit, and then it just feels even more cold than before. There is always a hangover after the party of sin. And next time it’s a little easier to compromise. It truly is a slow fade

I pray that God will open my eyes, and the eyes of my fellow believers to see in what areas of our lives we have given into Satan’s counterfeits. And I pray for the strength to walk away from the sin, and the mediocrity and death in life that sin always lead to (Romans 6:23). And I pray for the courage to keep our hearts open, and to dare to allow God to love us with his fierce, radical, overwhelming love. And I pray for the revelation of who we are in Christ, so we dare to live lives of freedom, joy, peace and dare to love people, and not end up like the multitudes of people who are in this situation so eloquently described by C. S. Lewis:

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable

heartpicture

My heart is often broken, because I dare to love. I dare to share. I dare to be vulnerable. It’s often hard. It’s often tempting to hide. To not speak up. To compromise. But I want to live life to the fullest. I want to live a passionate life. I don’t want to be too easily satisfied by counterfeit pleasures. I want to drink deep of the pleasures of God. And I want to allow his deep pleasures to reach other people through me, as I surrender to him, his will and his knowledge.

Don’t be too easily satisfied. 

Torben – who thinks he needs to write a follow up blog about how to expose a counterfeit, and how to recognize an original! Will do that as soon as possible 🙂

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7 Responses to “Too easily satisfied”


  1. January 24, 2009 at 4:21 am

    love the thoughts torben. who’s tattoo is that anyway??

  2. January 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks, Kate. I have no clue who the tattoo belongs to. I just found it on some random website 🙂 Do you want one?

  3. 3 Annie Glistrup
    January 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    A god reminder Torben, thanks-Annie


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