The pleasure button

Hi everyone! As many of you know, I’ve been on vacation. And after a two-week break the Up! devotional is back!

On this last Monday in August let me share a thought:

Dr. Robert Galbraith Heath did some research on human behaviour. Electrodes were placed on areas of patients’ brains. When a button was pushed, the patients got a surge of pleasure.

Later, the patients were allowed to control the stimulation themselves; they could push the button whenever they wanted. As a result, one person couldn’t stop. Another became so obsessed with the pleasure button that she neglected her hygiene and family in the process!

When the patients stimulated their pleasure nerves, they were momentarily “happy,” but they were being robbed of something greater: lasting peace and well-being. They kept looking for permanent pleasure in something that could never truly satisfy.

How many of us do the same?

We indulge in things that make us “happy”—however temporary—but we fry our peace and well-being in the process. Maybe it’s an unhealthy habit, gossiping, a flirt that crosses a boundary, abusing a substance, or anything else. We look for permanent pleasure in things that can never truly satisfy, in things that distract us from the deeper joy and contentment we can only find in God.

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV) is a prayer that packs some powerful truth: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you…”

As you start to think about the fresh starts that September inevitably brings, don’t get addicted to the button by looking for permanent pleasure in things that can never truly satisfy.

Some things give you pleasure but take your peace.

So stay your mind on God. Despite the dizzying distractions of a messed-up world, he is the only one who can provide lasting joy and contentment.

By Matthew Ruttan

–‘Up!’ is published 5 days a week (Monday – Friday), and has now resumed after a two-week break.
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