But nothing - absolutely nothing - is worth the cost of sacrificing the peace of God. The partying, the excitement, etc. might be fun & can give you pleasure. But i don't know anyone, including myself, who doesn't wake up the next morning feeling empty because the peace of God has slipped away. That's the realization that even though the festivities made you feel alive at the moment, it's all false. A false aliveness, a false sense of passion. A false sense of euphoria. You know what thoughts i mean.....
*** "A new outfit will make me feel better."
*** "Give me the carton of ice cream & a spoon. That will make me feel better."
*** "I know it's wrong, but those arms around me feel so good. No one will know."
*** "I'll just play the penny slots. It's not really gambling if i bet so little."
*** "I'll just do it (whatever it is) one more time for old times sake."
"I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure....
When I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what i had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 2:10a,2:11 (NIV)
Everything "under the sun" can give us a temporary high. But that high never lasts. If you choose the wrong path, at the end, you'll only find a pile of shame & guilt. Then you find yourself back peddling. I've lived this & i've back peddled many times. It's OK to back peddle, but it's even better when you don't have to because you choose the right path to begin with. I've realized that i want God's peace more than anything else. I've learned too, that sometimes, in the God given peace that passes all understanding, that it's OK to feel a little lonely. It's in those times of feeling lonely that my relationship with God grew & strengthened. I would seek fulfillment through reading His word & talking to Him through prayer. And in that process i learned. Most importantly, i learned that "folly" was meaningless. For may years, i had thought that "folly" was priceless. NOT!!!
"...wisdom is better than folly,
just as light is better than darkness."
Ecclesiastes 2:12 (NIV)
Overall, the wisest thing we can do is give everything to God. Our trial & troubles, our thanks & praise. I am so thankful for all that i've learned from my past. But i am even more thankful for my present & my future with a living God.