The world is alluring. It promises happiness and satisfaction, but none of its "joys" last long. Jesus warns us of this trap: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14
Culture, society, and any other name we can come up for the destructive path tell us "follow your heart," "do what makes you happy" and "if it feels good it can't be wrong." In the brief work I have done with helping addicts in to recovery as well as my years in ministry have shown me that everyone, not merely those addicted to substance or other forms of physical and mental slavery, has defined good and evil for themselves, and so we create reasons and excuses for the things we do. The way that leads to destruction is wide because the reasons for indulging one's own desires are as vast as the number of humans who have existed and will exist. It is only when we recognize that we need to change, and admit to a need for and submit to the Savior that we can truly be free. To many of us desire to blame the world, blame society, blame our parents, blame our family name, blame our jobs, our socioeconomic status, our neighborhood, and a long list of many other things for our condition, yet, over and again, I see the unrest in the world comes from self-defined or societal-defined versions of happiness being unfulfilled. And with an ever changing definition, the world, politicians, media personalities, and those we allow to define happiness for us will have an indefinite way to keep us unhappy and dependent upon them for answers to the problems they create.
What is the solution? How can we be free of this? There is only One Way, One Truth, and One Life that brings satisfaction and freedom. It is when we get in to the word of Christ, and do as He says, as hard as that narrow way may be, that we truly find freedom and contentment. Submitting to His will, loving Him with everything, and loving others as He loves us brings joy and freedom beyond all understanding and comprehension. He has set us free, should we choose to return to the factory design and stop defining good and evil for ourselves. Galatians 5:1-15 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.