“Because I longed for eternal life, I went to bed with harlots and drank for nights on end.”
– Albert Camus
The very act of sin is a cry to experience life to the fullest. Every person is born with an insatiable thirst for transcendence, the opportunity to experience something that takes us outside ourselves to a place where we are so enthralled that every fiber of our being feels fully alive. Mankind longs to know what it is to become one with something bigger than ourselves. The best we can do alone is to manufacture a mundane monotony that we intrinsically know is a pale substitute for the Life for which we search.
In an effort to escape the land of Mundane Monotony, we listen to the sultry sirens that seduce us into sin. We mistakenly believe that there is something out there that can scratch the nagging itch in our souls, only to discover after sinning that we weren’t itching there at all. Apart from divine intervention, a person will spend a lifetime trying to satisfy a yearning that refuses to be squelched by artificial means.
James said that Christians sin when we are drawn away by our desires. (James 1:14) Drawn away from what or whom? Temptation is the lure to be carried away from Jesus Christ. Sin happens when we allow ourselves to turn from Him and to something else in order to try to find life elsewhere.
The Christian finds when we sin that it never accomplishes what we really want. Sin can gratify, but never satisfy. It’s like eating a candy bar when you haven’t had a meal all day. It gives you an instant rush of gratification. You feel suddenly energized and it seems like you’ve made the right choice . . . for a short time.
Then the rush disappears and, just like the blood sugar level suddenly and drastically drops after eating the candy bar, you find yourself feeling weaker and more depleted than you did before you made the choice to choose an empty snack over a satisfying meal. You’re left once again feeling fatigued and unfulfilled. You know you need something more substantive and sustaining. It isn’t uncommon at that time to feel a sense of self condemnation for having chosen to try to satisfy our hunger with such an unhealthy snack.
Albert Camus acknowledged that he searched for life in harlots and drunkenness. Where do you seek to find Life when you are drawn way from Jesus? What cheap substitutes have you allowed to take His place? It doesn’t have to be something as garish as harlots and drunkenness.
Whether it is cheap wine or church work, anything we look to other than Jesus to satisfy our hunger becomes a sin to us. Christ alone will satisfy your hunger. Only He will offer the transcendent pleasure of being fully alive. Don’t be drawn away from Him. He loves you and offers you life to the fullest. Anything else is empty calories.