This week’s short message by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch the video or read text below.
Would you rather have an itch and enjoy being able to scratch it, or would you rather have no itch at all? This is a profound philosophical question — a question that goes to the root of a lot of issues about the meaning of life and the human condition. All the great world religions address the human struggle with desire and temptation — one of the most important themes of life on earth and the challenge of the soul to gain mastery over the many impulses we experience.
Itching is a metaphor for desire, and as we all know, the temptation to scratch an itch can be one of the strongest feelings imaginable. One of the great questions of life is whether the itch is in control, or whether we are. Are we the masters of our desires, or are we mastered by them?
There are many things that people want in life, but only some things are good for us. A big part of the human experience is to learn how to choose wisely what we do and don’t do, according to our spiritual values, rather than acting only according to instinct.
In this week’s service, we focus on the theme of Temptation, and our calling to resist addictive and self-indulgent behavior that leads to suffering. We also tell the story of King Louis IX of France, a pious ruler who resisted the temptations of self-indulgence and corruption of worldly power.