Redeeming Pleasure

"The Completeness of Creation"

If we accept that God is the designer of pleasure, it stands to reason that our view of God dramatically shapes our pleasure. After all, if we don’t get past an angry view of God we’ll have a difficult time associating anything that comes from Him as pleasurable. That’s why a discussion on pleasure must also have a focus on the nature of God.

In God’s design of the world, He created pleasure. We might think this means He is above it or beyond enjoying His creation. But here’s a twist: God pursues pleasure too. Not only are God and pleasure not mutually exclusive, God also aims toward the same goal! God travels the same journey we do, but He travels it differently. Namely, God enjoys Himself.

This is possible because He is complete in Himself. Many people borrow a famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire when it comes to love: “You complete me.” That sounds romantic, but it isn’t true. Ask any married person and you’ll quickly see people can’t complete people. You can destroy many a relationship trying to prove this. Only God can complete people. God completes us because He doesn’t need anyone or anything to complete Him.

We see an incredible picture of this in the opening words of the Bible. After laying the foundation for creation, God gets ready to make humans. The Bible communicates it this way: “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.’” Who is this “us” and “our”?

Christianity explains this as the Trinity, one God in three parts: Spirit, Son, and Father. The point is the Bible depicts a God who can enjoy Himself. A God who needs nothing and who pursues nothing to fill His own emptiness. He exists in community with Himself. He experiences love because He isn’t alone.

Because of this, He can invite us into His completeness. We aren’t a means to an end. This is where our pleasure comes from. The best way for us to experience pleasure is to join in God’s pursuit of it.