Cole Porter, the author of such great classics as, “I Get a Kick out of You,” “Night and Day,” and “Don’t Fence Me In,” was a genuine American success story. After publishing his first song at age 10, Cole Porter went on to write dozens of hits, popularized by such luminaries as Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Significantly, however, he also wrote “Anything Goes,” a song that in a very real way reflected his personal philosophy of life.
In his book, Is This The End?, Dr. David Jeremiah writes: “His fans did not realize that his love songs were written for his boyfriends, that his marriage was a sham, or that his earnings financed an endless series of “anything goes” parties. … Porter enjoyed popular acclaim, deep pockets, and four beautiful homes, each well-staffed and kept in perpetual readiness for his visits. … Porter lived as he sang – ‘anything goes.’
But after being injured in an equestrian accident, he never regained his health or happiness. He became reclusive and spent his last years depressed, diseased, drinking, and drugging. … ‘He was very alone at the end,’ said a friend. ‘He really didn’t have anything or anyone he was close to’” (pages 4, 5).
Cole Porter enjoyed everything life has to offer. Fame, wealth, unbridled freedom, and the respect of a grateful public. In the end, however, he discovered that life without God is no cake walk. It often goes well for a time, and yes, there are many who live life to the fullest through to their dying days. Grant the point.
But let’s be clear: God has given us a host of directives, given to us not to limit our happiness but to enable us to make intelligent choices. God is no kill-joy. But He knows that, given unbridled freedom, we are prone to go to extremes, sometimes to our own destruction. The principles we find in Scripture are simply guides to keep our passions in check and our focus on what is right, true, and proper.
Our founding fathers, well steeped in the principles Christians hold dear, wrote in the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Absolutely true … and I suspicion God Himself would agree!
With that in view, however, note that the New Testament is careful to highlight this qualifier: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” You and I are, in a very real sense, the product of our opportunities, our choices, and, yes, the degree to which we take seriously the principles God has given us. He invites us to a life of intelligent cooperation, and what we decide changes everything.