1 Peter 4:3-5
Here’s a new twist on a message that we have heard many times before:
“For the time that has passed is sufficient for doing what the Gentiles like to do: living in debauchery, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and wanton idolatry. They are surprised that you do not plunge into the same swamp of profligacy, and they vilify you; but they will give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.” -1 Peter 4:3-5, NAB
In these daily bible studies, we began by taking a deeper look at 1 Corinthians. We went verse by verse through this popular book of the New Testament. While some consider it the “book of love,” we read over and over about letting go of this world and using our gifts to follow Christ. Now, as we move onto 1 Peter, we have heard again, multiple times, to let go of this world. Getting the hint yet?
Since we have heard this message before, I wanted to key in on one key aspect, and I will continue to do this each time this topic comes up. This time, I want to focus on profligacy. What is profligacy? Don’t worry – I had to look it up too. FreeDictionary.com says that it means to be “recklessly wasteful” or “wildly extravagant.” So, the Gentiles (nonbelievers) are in a swamp of wastefulness and extravagance.
Many things in life might be acceptable for us until we go to the point of being wasteful. We need to eat to survive, but we should not let our food consume us. An alcoholic drink is okay to have once in awhile, but constantly getting drunk leads us to sin. Even sex is acceptable in the right setting (between husband and wife), but our overly abundant sexual lifestyles with multiple partners is not pleasing to God.
In all of these things, it is our overindulgence that causes us to sin. We have taken what God gave us for good, and we have made it evil out of our selfish desires. We stop seeing the beauty in life, and we only live to feed our passions. We need to keep holy things holy, and not overindulge in them. We must not become wasteful or overly extravagant. We should remember the true purpose of these aspects of our lives.
The world is decaying fast, but that does not mean that we have to decay with it. They are seeking happiness through pleasures of the flesh, and they will never find it. Meanwhile, we have found the true source of happiness in our faith, and we cannot allow the world to lure us away from that. In everything, moderation is the key.