The world we live in tries to immerse us in the endless pursuit of passion and sensuality. Sensuality is not a word we use often but it is a worthwhile word to understand. It means “unrestrained indulgence in our sensual pleasures.” (Dictionary.com). While that is seemingly appealing from a worldly point of view it is lethal to our spirituality. What I am not saying here is that life as a Christian is to put an end to anything that brings us happiness or pleasure. What I am saying is that a full out, no holds barred pursuit of passion and self-gratification results in the death of our souls.
Paul said it like this,
“17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” – Eph 4:17-19
What Paul is saying here is that a life that chases solely after pleasure and unbriddled passion does something to us on the inside. It changes our hearts and our minds. It makes it harder to draw close to God and others. It makes our hearts darkened because our hearts are so full of self that there is no room for anyone or anything else. Paul says living like this results in an exchange of our Christ-like sensitivity for worldly sensuality. It leaves that person empty and wanting more but never fulfilled.
Our world has replaced sensitivity with sensuality and the result, when given enough time and enough exposure to the heart, is a fatal condition.
“20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Eph 4:20-23
A life that solely pursues passion is a life that, in that moment, is unable to pursue Christ or understand Christ. Paul says that our walk with Christ necessitated the putting off of the old way of living (for corrupt sensuality) and be made new in the attitude of our minds to be made new and righteous and holy. In doing so, our sensitivities return because we are no longer self-seeking but have emptied ourselves of unrighteousness and filled ourselves with holiness.
A few questions to consider:
- How do you think the world tries to blind us with sensuality?
- What void do you think the world is trying to fill?
- How can we address people who are in that state to show them there is something more fulfilling?
- In what ways have you personally struggled with this and what have you found helpful to regain your sensitivity?
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