We are a race of gifted people throwing away our greatest blessings. Like giving an exotic diamond to a baby who only wants to chew on it, swallow it and then deposit it in his diaper. He grows throughout life never remembering the precious gift he wasted during infancy. Along he goes finding ways to survive as he swims through his cultural swamp only to die with nothing, the same thing he came into life with. Had he only the capacity to understand the value he was handed in that exotic stone, he would have been so much better off today, all grown up.
That’s us you see: born into a race that has forgotten the rich heritage that belongs to them. Spiritual amnesiacs putting great value on things that perish rather than investing their God-given riches into life. Paying our athletes obscene salaries and accolades to entertain us as we stuff ourselves with false pride of a team that could care less about us. This is why we watch the “elite” give each other golden awards for best actor, best writer, best dressed (or under-dressed), and most likely to go places.
We are convinced that becoming like them is a wonderful thing, so we buy their make-up, weight-loss plans, books and movies while feeding on corn-chips in front of some screen waiting for the next big thing to impress us. We serve an employer or lay-hold of public assistance to support our love affair with overpaid, unhappy, unworthy people who themselves have a bad habit of leading miserable lives, yet we watch them day-in and day-out. We want to be them but we cannot because they model a media-generated life of falseness that we were never meant to be in the first place.
As we dance with death with every lost heartbeat we waste away a second at a time, never reaching the lofty things we have been created for. God’s image has been replaced with the face of a human make-over, covering the failing bodies and aging faces of our idols. Our being cries out for help so we sedate it with an opium that promises “better days ahead.”
The best day however is today. It is the day you can start exerting your energies on things that are profitable to yourself and all those whose lives you influence. Decide first the value of yourself:
1Peter 1:18, 19 For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold;19 it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. (GNB)
Scriptures reveal that while we spend our time pursuing things that pass away, that God spent everything to set us free to be everything He intended for us to be. So if we are ever going to pull away from the gravity of the death star of human failure, we must come to grips with just how valuable we are to God. Maybe you believe putting your faith in Christ will consume your opportunities to find more pleasure and success in life, but before you return to this belief consider the cost of such a philosophy.
Mark 8:35-37 For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it. 36 Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! 37 There is nothing you can give to regain your life. (GNB)
Jesus was saying here that the energy man exerts in earthly investments will be lost (there’s physical proof for this), and once your life is spent you cannot get it back. However if you will simply give your life back to God, through the sum paid by His Son, your life is now valuable again and that value cannot be lost because you gave it to God.
This gets better: although your life is God’s possession you still get to live it to the fullest here on earth, while you await your reception in Heaven when the threshold of death finally comes your way. That’s right you are still you, though God’s property, and now you get the chance to truly invest in a future that will not pass away when your body does. You do not have to play the game everyone else does. It’s okay to be who God created you to be, especially when you live for Him!
Your artistic ability, technical skill, creative thought-life, and physical abilities are usable and on display to bring Him glory and bring you the joy of living. Plus, as you mature in your life with God He gives you gifts that enhance your life in Christ. Life is no longer about you, it’s about God. The old you who tried to mimic and adore false gods and frivolous ways of living are now replaced by adoring God Himself and emanating Jesus.
What have you got to lose? Pride for one. That will have to go. The reception of Christ in your life means agreeing that you are a sinner (just like me). Along the way you will learn more about the things that displease God and will have to go also. God is gracious though and has given us better things than sin to replace our old ways of living. He replaces promiscuity with faithful relationships. He replaces hatred with learning how to love. He forgives us for the lies we told and lived in, and patiently teaches us how to be more truthful. Most of all He gives us all the grace we need to be what He intended for us to be.
You may have watched Christianity and saw something that you did not like. Truth be told: Christianity and Christ are not the same thing. Christianity amounts to a religion that is modeled differently from group-to-group and place-to-place. All who embrace the Christian religion are not always true Christians. Like the human race we vary in ways that make us different from others because of our surroundings. So if you enter a church building in California, you will likely experience something different than in Calcutta, but this has no bearing on what it means to be a follower of Christ.
When Christ comes for you at the end of life, you will shed everything that was physically yours in this world, and that includes your membership at First Presbyterian Church. Yet, everything you have become for Christ, and everything you have done in the name of Christ will be waiting for us when we reach Heaven. Let God lead you in your life in Christ. Eventually, you will find yourself a place of worship with other Believers, but the throne of your heart is where true worship comes from. Let God sit on that Throne.
So what about your life? Must you be like everyone else? Or is there a passion within to be what you were created to be? The beauty and genius of who you are is wrapped up in knowing God has placed great value on you. Don’t waste your life. Give it to God.