‘But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.’ — 1 Timothy 5:6
A life of pleasure used to be the remit of royalty. Now, in the age of technology and media, people can give vast chunks of their time to entertainment and pleasure. But is a life of pleasure the ideal? Does it bring happiness and life?
1 Timothy 5 comments on a life of pleasure as it relates to widows. The passage is identifying which widows the church should take responsibility for and which it should not. There a widow who lives in pleasure is contrasted with one who lives to pray and serve God.
Interestingly, it is said of the widow who lives in pleasure that she ‘is dead while she liveth’. This shows us that living life just to do what is pleasing to our flesh brings a deadness and an emptiness. The pleasures of this world do not satisfy, instead, they create a hunger for more. They are addictions that consume more and more of our life yet leave us more and more empty.
May God help us to see the emptiness of life without God and the dissatisfaction worldly pleasures bring. Instead, may we, like the godly widow in this passage give ourselves to trusting God, praying, and good works. The greatest pleasure is not a life lived for self, but a life lived for God.
As Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes after a description of all his worldly indulgences,
‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ — Ecclesiastes 12:13–14