It is likely that some have already summoned an argument. “But God permits us pleasure as a gift. What would you have us do – not enjoy things?” That’s not what I’m saying at all.
Of course, there are pleasures in life. Pleasures in work. Pleasures in school. Pleasures in relationships. Pleasures in sex. When these are yielded to God, he is still seen as the utmost pleasure. And when these others are received from him, lived through him, and directed back to him, each of these are deep in pleasure.
Suicidal pleasure, though, seeks pleasure for its own sake. Pleasure is viewed as the greatest need. No longer is God directing the work, school, relationships, or sex. No longer is God over it. No longer is God seen as the greatest pleasure with each of these finding their proper place beneath him. These are sought out, engaged in, and clung to for life. And going uncontrolled by God they will kill you.
“They certainly won’t kill me.”
So said the snake to Eve in the garden.
“It’s not that bad.”
Maybe not at first blush. But John Owen made it clear that “Sin aims always at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, if it has its own way it will go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could, every thought of unbelief would be atheism if allowed to develop. Every rise of lust, if it has its way reaches the height of villainy; it is like the grave that is never satisfied. The deceitfulness of sin is seen in that it is modest in its first proposals but when it prevails it hardens mens’ hearts, and brings them to ruin.”
“I won’t do this again. It’s just this one time.”
Again from Owen, “Do you mortify (or kill sin)? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.”
QUESTION: How would you respond to the person who says their little sins are no big deal?