Is it a sin to enjoy the things of this world? I want to be careful here, but not only would I reject this statement, I would often be tempted to argue just the opposite. It may be a sin NOT to enjoy the things of this world.

The misconception we have comes primarily from a misunderstanding of John and how he often uses the word “world”:

1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

The pius, separatists, fundamentalists, monastics ascetics, and well-meaning parents and pastors throughout church history have thought that this basically meant: “Do not enjoy life. Don’t have fun. Don’t laugh. And by all means avoid anything that makes you smile.”

This is not what John means. When John uses the word world he is talking about the world system as corrupted by sin. He is talking about the abuse of all things good. He’s talking about pursuits that neglect the true enjoyment of God’s creation for what sin has made them to be. We are not to love the world’s system as expressed through sins corruption.

However, we are to redeem the world, calling on God’s kingdom here on earth and the restoration of God’s original design.

God shares this world with us. He has given us taste buds to enjoy food, jokes to laugh at, families to watch grow with pleasure and a love life that culminates in the act of sex, bringing ultimate pleasure to our minds.

God loves us to enjoy this world. He wants us to partake and see what great things he has given. And he tells us that one day all the enjoyment this world has to offer will return to its original design.

We long for the coming of God’s restoration because we feel a deep connection to this place and find ultimate pleasure in enjoying all the gifts this world affords. Don’t love the corruption that sin has brought, it is but a mere spoiled version of the real thing!


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    3 replies to "Is It Really A Sin To Enjoy The Things In This World?"

    • Mariano

      How can I know when I am enjoying something without sinning like vaping for example?

    • jeremy jinks

      i am a non christian my partner whom i got engaged to and to marry is a christian ,our views of life always seems to be a challenge,especially the way i live and go about life yes i love company meeting up with friends enjoying the social gathering ,going pub etc but i just feel that i am not aloud to do this even watching tv is a sin in her eyes,she constantly has a go at me about my life style,i lived alone for 20 plus years and yes its been a challenge to have a partner live with you ,i feel i have to watch and think about any thing i do with out being judged by her i love her so much ,i feel she wont give me a chance to prove i am a good man but nope we have split because of who we are its so sad we both have had a trumatic past which has a lot to do with our break up,i feel i am always going to be in the wrong what ever i say or do ,thought god wanted us to be happy dont feel like that

      • C Michael Patton

        Jeremy, I am so sorry to hear that. It’s seems that this is a common phenomenon among all people, religious or not, and especially in marriage. I find that as people get older, they normally let go of these small things and begin to appreciate the big things. Endurance,
        Forgiveness and compromise.

        God bless

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