What Good is it to Me Now?

“What good is it to me now?”  This is what Esau said to his brother Jacob one day when he came in from a long hunt and was very hungry.  Jacob was cooking up some food and Esau asked for some, but Jacob saw an opportunity and proposed a trade, some of the food he prepared for Esau’s birthright as the eldest son.  The birthright was something that would come into effect when it came time for their father to die and considering Esau knew that most likely that would not happen for many years, he said, “What good is my birthright to me now?” (Gen 25)

Esau was hungry right then, he needed to relieve his hunger immediately, so he agreed.

In Hebrews 12, the writer encourages the believers to not be “sexually immoral or Godless like Esau.” Esau’s decision to trade his birthright for a single meal is paired with being sexually immoral.  It is pointed out that when the time came for him to receive his father’s blessing (birthright) he was not able to due to his decision and regardless of how much he cried, Esau was not able to take back his choice.

We are sexual beings and we all have sexual desires, but Scripture points out that sex is meant to be something that is shared between a man and a woman within the commitment of marriage.  I encourage the single man and single woman to not trade the bonding and intimacy of sex to meet an immediate desire regardless of how strong that desire feels, in trade for the specialness that comes with marriage.

Esau thought that his birthright didn’t matter because it would not happen for such a long time, even if your marriage may not happen until you reach retirement years, I encourage you to not repeat Esau’s decision because no matter how much he cried…no matter how much you may cry, you will not get back that same specialness.

To Laugh or Not to Laugh

In a typical week, I will listen to three to five different sermons by as many speakers.  Over the course of the past few weeks, I listened to one speaker share a story of road rage in which he was a part of a few days earlier and though he explained how his actions and attitude were wrong, people laughed at the story.  This week, I listened to a different speaker share a story about how he was alone swearing at nobody in general but swearing none-the-less and how his attitude and behavior were wrong and as he shared the story people laughed.

I wondered why pastors can share struggles in some areas and yet would ruin their reputations if they shared struggles in other areas.  I’m not suggesting that all details of all struggles would be wise to share but in a recent email conversation with an author of one of the books we have read, he suggested that sexual issues are considered taboo in the church, and at times I would even argue outside the church as well.

A few years ago a credit card commercial featured Jerry Seinfeld doing stand-up in England with no laughter from the audience.  Once he understood the culture and developed material people could relate to, they laughed.  Most people laugh at others struggles when they relate to them as well.  Stories of failure with road rage and language can sound funny, whereas, sexual failures rarely can come across with humor, which can explain an audience’s differing reaction to varying stories.

Interestingly it is estimated that 16 million Americans are affected by road rage or intermittent explosive disorder*, while 40 million American adults regularly visit porn websites every month (Internet Filter Review), and this does not include teens, or other forms of sexual integrity issues.  In actuality, more people identify with sexual integrity issues than road rage; however, sexual sin is so deep, so embarrassing, so hurtful, and has so many other issues connected to it, that rarely is it a laughing matter.  If every man and woman with a sexual integrity issue were to wear an armband for a day, our society would be astounded.

I wonder why people would prefer a person to keep their issue so private that they never ask for or are afraid to ask for help, in fear someone may find out?  I tend to respect those people who realize their own faults, desire to improve themselves, and seek out help.  Those people who have brought their issue into the light, typically have more success in overcoming their issues.  Obviously, I am not saying one should share their issues with everyone and everywhere, but the secrecy is usually more damaging than the openness.