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Does Christianity explain the differences between pleasure and joy like in some far east religions?

For example, I found this description:
http://www.innerfrontier.org/InnerWork/Archive/2003/20030623Joy&Pleasure.htm

Does Christianity address the difference between joy and pleasure and how to manage them?

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closed as not constructive by David Stratton, Kazark, Jon Ericson, Andrew, warren Nov 6 '12 at 20:25

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Catholic doctrine might. Baptist doctrine might, Scripture might, but "Christianity" is far too broad and diverse to give a single answer. –  David Stratton Nov 6 '12 at 2:35
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1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I think the big branches of Christianity (Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, most Protestants) definitely draw a distinction between pleasure and joy. This can be seen in Christ Himself, who says in John 15:11, "“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete," and then goes to die on a cross.

The basic formula for acquiring the joy (and freedom) necessary to joyfully set aside physical pleasure, even willfully handing oneself over to a torturous death, is seen immediately prior to Jesus' ministry: Prayer and Fasting.

In prayer, you surrender your mind to God (I AM WHO AM) for training. And in fasting, you offer your body for training against your impulses, more or less.

Out of this process, you gain freedom and receptiveness to Truth Itself, you start to find joy everywhere. Your train-wreck of a morning is somehow delightful, a spectacle to be enjoyed, even if suffered, rather than an simply offense to suffer -- and nothing else.

I think the vast majority of Christians have this basic strategy underpinning their doctrine (or lack thereof). When you get into particular sects (namely the big, old ones), I think you'll find more detailed and well-established spiritual direction offerings, some of which include a host of helpful insights and strategies for opening oneself up to the eternal joy we're been promised.

But, as David Stratton said, "Christianity" does cover a broad range of beliefs. I'm speaking in regard only to those with whch I've had personal contact and about which I know the most.

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thank you, this is very helpful. –  Greg McNulty Nov 6 '12 at 21:53
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