Puritanical

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Food is good.

Sex is good.

Pleasure is good.

Fun is good.

Rest is good.

If you were raised in a religious environment, some of those statements might sound wrong to you – even downright sinful.

In a well-intentioned effort to eliminate the vices associated with these things (gluttony, promiscuity, sloth, irresponsibility, laziness), Christianity has a long history of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. This has resulted in rules based environments/individuals focused (obsessed?) on controlling their behavior.

Ironically, the things we try so hard to control often end up controlling us. And so we become anorexic, asexual, puritanical, workaholics, oh so serious.

And then, the swing happens: because these things have been categorically repressed as “evil” (when deep down we’re actually created to desire and enjoy them), there are inevitable slip-ups. We binge. We indulge. We enjoy. And this, in turn, leads us to feel more guilt, shame, and fear. Which then drives us to want to have more control. Sound familiar? It’s a cycle many of us know.

So here’s the thing: God created food, sex, pleasure, fun, rest, and a litany of other things that we’ve tended to label as “bad”. And he called them good.

Not only that, but he created us to enjoy them. Not sheepishly, or half-heartedly, but fully. The sin’s not in the enjoyment but in the abuse.

What good things are you repressing right now? Who told you they were bad?

P.S. Check out this article for more.