Shortcuts and Compromise
All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Matthew 4:9
We all have an inherent desire to know joy, pleasure, and satisfaction. I’m no different. My life problem is that I’m just lazy, always looking for the shortcut. Sure, I want to know the fulfillment of being in good shape, but that’s a lot of work, when I can enjoy the immediate gratification of junk food now. In my addiction, I wanted to live rightly, but that meant denying my appetite for the high. It was simply easier to find happiness – even though it was fleeting – in the pill.
This is a problem for most of us, though it presents itself in different ways. For some of us, our most obvious now appetite is for drugs. For others, it’s for sex, money, status, affirmation, food, or recognition. Whatever it is, the now appetite always promises immediate pleasure at the cost of what we truly desire.
This is the approach Satan took in his third and final temptation of Christ. Offering him control of the entire world, Satan asked that Christ simply do one little thing. Just bow down to me and I will give it all to you. One little compromise will prevent so much conflict and misery. I’m not asking much and I’m offering you everything.
Jesus refused to give in to his now appetite, choosing instead to do what’s right. The right thing is usually the harder thing, of course. Salvation may be a free gift of God but walking in faith is no simple or easy task. James insisted that we must pursue God (James 4:8). Paul commanded that we put our destructive desires to death (Colossians 3:5). Jesus said that to follow him, we must daily deny ourselves (Luke 9:23).
Our now appetite usually leads to some destruction, even if it is only to distract from true joy. There are those who will insist that denying the now appetite leads to a joyless existence, but those of us who have known the misery of addiction won’t struggle with this. The now appetite is almost always the enemy of the life we want to live. If we truly desire to know life and recovery, daily we must we must refuse the compromises and shortcuts, following God instead of our now appetite.