“Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage (Ecclesiastes 5:18).
A deep-rooted belief in certain religious people is that we believers should live in a world of pain and that we should never enjoy any pleasure. However, the Bible (New King James Version) uses the word joy one hundred ninety-two times, delight eighty-seven times, and rejoice or rejoiced two hundred thirty-eight times. The Book of Ecclesiastes encourages more than once to enjoy the proper use of food, drink and results of his work as stated in today’s verse.
The limbic system is situated in the deepest layer of our brain. It is a set of very important structures like the thalamus, amygdala, hypothalamus and hippocampus, among others. This part of the brain plays a fundamental role in memory that tends to be strengthened by positive and negative emotional experiences. IE is the region that manages fear and aggression, but it is also the center of pleasure and well-being—an essential aspects of human life. God created many pleasant and delightful experiences to be enjoyed by His creatures, within the limits of consciousness, reason and heavenly order. Whether it is true that we are called to suffer in this world touched by sin, we also must remember that such suffering can be soothed through reasonable mechanisms provided by God.
Unfortunately, the same pleasure center can influence our behavior in a powerful way, like in the case of the addictions. All of them, whether chemical or psychological, follow a similar process. They usually begin by social pressure and provide temporal pleasure. All the addictions follow such steps: habit, tolerance, obsession, compulsion and withdrawal syndrome. Finally, when the addict becomes aware of the difficult situation he is in and wants to quit the cycle, he realizes he cannot do it and frequently relapses. External help is needed to be able to return to normal as only a few can do it by themselves. Those who want to be free of these ties have to do everything humanly possible and God will do the rest. The Scriptures assure us that «the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations» (2 Pet. 2:9) and He is the only one who can bring the sure solution.