The fleeting pleasures of sin

Certain comments are funny because they’re true and obnoxious in the best sense (example: Johnson’s famous quip). Others are funny despite their idiocy, like when Dana Carvey said once that his family was Lutheran, which is “sorta like Catholic lite, you know?” You had to be there.

Then there’s this classic:

The puritan hated bear baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

Not true, but funny. And it leads by the thinnest thread to this article discussing the pleasures of sin. Before the misery comes the fun, just like the bait precedes the hook. As Proverbs 20:17 says: “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.”

Sin is settling for second best (Is. 55:1-2). Lewis puts it this way in his preface to The Great Divorce:

I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing; that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in “the High Countries.”

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