According to Malcolm Muggeridge, three things that bind [enslave] us, drive us and isolate us are:
- "excessive desire to possess things"
- "devotedness to the gratification of the bodily appetites; free indulgence in carnal or sensual pleasures; luxuriousness; voluptuousness; lewdness"
- "belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others"
He uses the words cupidity, sensuality and vanity--words that aren't used much these days, so I went to hunt for their meanings. Who knew that cupidity has to do with greed and not love? When I searched for the meaning of sensuality, many wanted to equate the word with sex but, while sex is one of the bodily appetites, it is only one.
I think, of the three, sensuality is the one that catches me the most. I like comfort and do as much as I can to avoid discomfort. I like luxuries and indulge in the ones I can afford. I like to feel good and do what I can to ensure I do. It never occurred to me that this could be wrong. Is it? I can see how devotedness to lewdness ("preoccupation with sex and sexual desire," lust, obscenity and indecency) is wrong but simple luxuries and comforts? It's something I'm going to have to think about.
What are your thoughts?
Malcolm Muggeridge in Jesus Rediscovered as quoted in Learning from Jesus: A Spiritual Formation Guide by Renvaré, page 29.
Definition of "cupidity" from http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/inf
Definition of "sensuality" from http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Sensuality/
Definition of "vanity" from http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/vanity?view=uk
Definition of "lewdness" from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lewdness