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 Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon 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. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

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

    • […] Is It Really a Sin to Enjoy the Things in this World? I love the opening lines of this article, and I hope they inspire you to click and read on… “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.” […]

    • 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

        • Tovah

          Michael……do you think that being unequally yoked with an unbeliver and living with an unbeliever is a small thing? Am I reading that right?? What do you think God has to say in the light of the Scriptures on these matters? I agree that we should appreciate and practice endurance and forgiveness, but compromise?? Does the compromise cause to disobey God’s commandments? Is that what you are encouraging?? I am mainly addressing Jeremy’s former fiance’ and not so much Jeremy because he is still in the world and thinks as the world thinks. If he professed to be a committed Christian that would be a different story.

    • Tovah

      Dear Jeremy, It mystifies me as to why she got engaged to an unbeliever to begin with. The scriptures firmly teach to not yoke yourself with an unbeliever, nor to live with him/her outside of marriage nor to engage in sexual relations. Just living with you is a poor testimony before the world, mainly because of who she claims to be in the eyes of the world. She is in need of repentance more than you are. It’s been said judgment begins first with the family of God, then with the world. Has living with her affected in any way your thoughts about Jesus and who He is? Did she ever show you the Scriptures as a means to show you who she aspires to be as a Christian? Do you know and understand the Gospel?

      I appreciate that you are trying to be a “good” person, that is a good thing. The Scriptures tell us that none of us are good enough to obtain Father God’s favor nor be allowed in His coming Kingdom. When we admit we break His laws and commandments and desire to turn from disobedience and towards obedience and believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus His Son, then our ALL of our sins are cleansed away and we can have a relationship with Father God and Jesus.

      This must not be a response you expected, but all of it is true. There is no middle ground or grey areas. I would exhort you to search the Scriptures about who God is and about His Son Jesus. Start with the Gospel of John. Maybe ask some friends about a good Bible teaching church you could visit to hear their teachings.

      Some of the things I have said here may sound harsh and cruel. If it saddens you in your current state, that is a actually a good thing as godly sorrow often leads to repentance and salvation and THAT is my true goal. Proverbs 27: 5-6 says Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
      May God lead you onto His Path of Eternal Life and do that soon.

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