What is a party spirit, and why, according to scripture, Does it have to Die?
What is a party spirit? Most people I know like to have fun; I’m known to be a little crazy myself, and a very outgoing kind of guy. So why is a “Party Spirit” wrong in God’s eyes?
Well, let’s first define some terms here, so we can all be on the same page. According to (Dictionary.com), a party is, “a social gathering, as of invited guests at a private home, for conversation, refreshments, entertainment, etc.: a [dinner] party.
So, so far, we are in pretty good shape. All we are doing is getting together to enjoy each other’s company, i.e. via conversation, and, by inference, developing relationships. So at what point does this become motivated by a “Party Spirit?”
At this juncture, I think we need to define what self-indulgence means. If the goal of getting together with friends or colleagues, like kids from your high school, college, Greek organization, or your social group is to indulge in self-gratification, and especially to impress others with your ability to self-indulge or your social standing, no matter the cost, then you have the “Party Spirit”.
This is where we cross the line into hedonism, which is the pursuit of pleasure as a way of life, or making pleasure the ultimate goal for which you strive. This can also be called, “sensualism”, “libertinism,” “debauchery,” “dissipation,” or “carousal.” I believe the most important word here is “debauchery” which means “excessive indulgence in sensualpleasures; intemperance.”
Note that by ‘sensual pleasures’ it does not necessarily have anything to do with sex, but more with appealing to your five senses. However, sexual gratification certainly comes into the picture as well.
Paul addressed this issue in several places in the New Testament. In Romans 13:13-14, he states, “Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Two important points to note here are that most of the immoral behavior here are that most of the immoral behavior he is trying to get us to avoid is all borne of carnality, i.e. gratifying the desires of the flesh.
Jesus, when talking to his disciples said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God [and the flesh] (the insertion is mine, for emphasis). (Matthew 6:24)
Behavior that is pleasing to God denies one’s selfish desires, and devotes itself to serving God, thereby serving others. When you only want to serve yourself, and all of your self-directed desires, you are now walking in carnality, i.e. fleshly pursuits, and are in direct opposition to God.
In his letter to the Ephesians Paul writes, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) It is interesting that a few paragraphs before this, he warns us not to partake in the deeds of those who walk in darkness, i.e. filthiness, silly talk, coarse jesting, impure thoughts and deeds, coveting others possessions, including people, because these things will bring the wrath of God upon you.
If I have gotten correct information from the 18 to 25 year old demographic, this is exactly what they “party” <verb> for: to totally throw aside inhibition, and strive towards as much indulgence of the flesh as possible. [Confer with verses 3 through 6].
I am sure that Paul was not saying one could never drink wine; in fact, Timothy admonishes us to “…use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23) It has been shown also that a little wine a day is good for reducing your cholesterol count.
In fact, Jesus mentions wine himself: it was present at the wedding feast in Cana, where he created wine from water. But I must emphasize, “a little:” wine is not to be drunk in excess but moderation.
Once you get to the point where the wine (or other alcohol) is making you drunk, especially by design, you are engaging in debauchery. You are purposefully doing something to excess to satisfy a carnal desire. Excess is no longer an issue with you; in fact, it has now become your goal.
In Philippians 3:18b-19, Paul warns the believers in Philippi that, “…many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”
I happen to think that description of their goal in life is very graphic: “their god is their stomach.” They only care about fulfilling the desires of the flesh, whether or not there may be severe physical or emotional consequences. This is the trap young people most often fall into; excess. There is that strong sense of immortality when you are young, and consequences are something that others fall victim to, but not you. “You Only Live Once” has become a popular motto among young people.
Although this phrase is relatively recent, the idea is very old. In fact, Jesus said of a “yuppie” of old, “[I] will say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
(Luke 12: 19-20) What many do not realize is that only God himself knows how many tomorrows you have, so do not deceive yourself into thinking that you have it made, and all you need to do is take life easy, and party, party, party: just hang out with the right crowd, be seen by all the right people, and indulge, because, as the popular saying these days is, “Y.O.L.O:” you only live once, so you might as well grab as much as you can for yourself in this life, because who knows when you will die?
This, friends, is a sad state of affairs. This not only affects those who are young, but most of American culture. People of all ages live to flaunt their social standing, and to live life to the fullest, so they can. get all they can out of this life before they die.
The irony in this is that, fi rst of all, they may not live long enough to really enjoy this life. Second, they will never really enjoy this life because, if you asked one of these ‘partiers’ or social climbers if they were truly happy, and they were honest, they would probably say that they are empty.
They try to fulfill a deep need to be loved, accepted, and significant, but they do it in all the wrong ways, and in all the wrong places. God has given us all, as a basic part of our personality, a desire to be loved, and by Him. No other person or thing can fulfill that desire. Yet, there are many, sadly including Christians, who live for pleasure, and the approval of men. That’s why they always try to outdo each other in flaunting their social status, and what a good time they always have.
But, judging by the “The Real Housewives of…” (Evolution Media, 2006) series, or the other ‘reality shows’ about the well-to-do, their lives are never really happy, but when no one is looking, full of strife, envy, jealousness, acrimony, and divorce among those who are married. Men and woman have affairs, because their needs aren’t being met by their respective spouses.
Men or women become married to their jobs because they feel the need to find fulfillment in work. In our culture, children are constantly bombarded with images of the “beautiful life:” living in expensive apartments in big city high rises, replete with doormen, chauffeurs; having all the right clothes, the right peer group, and certainly, the right social standing.
Even if these shows aimed at young people portray the value of real friendship and honesty, it more powerfully makes the backdrop one’s standing in society.
I really think that the “Party Spirit” is driven by the need for acceptance, if we were honest about it. No one in their right mind would actually want to destroy themselves by excessive use of drugs, alcohol, or sexually immoral acts.
Intrinsically, some basic need in the spirits of ‘partyers’, or those with a party spirit, is not being met: these who revel in the party scene are really trying to make themselves happy by acts which, if continued over time would destroy them, physically and/or emotionally. But they continue to seek after pleasure at any cost because, at the end of the day, they need to have the approval of their peers, even if that approval is superficial.
Jesus, when talking about some status seekers of his day, the Pharisees, said, “For they loved the approval and the praise and the glory that come from men instead of and more than the glory that comes from God. They valued their credit with men more than their credit with God.
John 12:43, “The approval of men may be nice, but it only delivers emptiness.” In fact, it leads to death, both spiritual and physical. “There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25).
Men cannot save your eternal soul; you were given this by God because He desires a relationship with you. He alone knows what will truly satisfy your soul, and that only comes by seeking Him for meaning in your life, and, truth be known, to give your life away.
The Party Spirit is Overcome- To Be Continued…..