We were made for another world and until Jesus returns, we can’t help but ache for it. C.S. Lewis called that longing sehnsucht (and I write a lot about it).
But there’s another part of us that longs for this world, and it’s why James had to write:
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel… You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! (James 4:1-4a).
We get the term hedonist from this Greek word for “passions.” John Piper calls Christian Hedonism the conviction that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.[i]
But the opposite?
Seeking satisfaction in this present world, like Demas did:
[There] is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me… (2 Tim. 4:7-9)
Falling in love with the world is cheating on the Bridegroom who has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:3). It’s forfeiting the fullness of his presence.
Worldly desires are empty, James says:
“…You do not have… cannot obtain… do not receive…”
It’s the opposite of sehnsucht, because sehnsucht burns for another eternal world, where Jesus will fill our heart-hole to its brim.
In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:11).
. . .
[i] DesiringGod, Christian Hedonism. (Retrieved from https://www.desiringgod.org/topics/christian-hedonism#)