Are you living by the values of society or the values of God? It’s easy for the line to get blurred. Sometimes it can be difficult to discern whether something is God’s blessing or simply the result of selfish ambition. Especially for those of us in the West, the temptation to conform to what our culture considers to be normal can be overwhelming. We try to keep up with the Jones’s instead of humbly serving and loving them. Our focus tends to be on our personal enjoyment or on the size of our retirement nest egg. Satan is having a field day with our values, and too often Christians are excusing it in the name of God’s favor.
I heard someone speak in a church recently about her experience in travelling to Kenya and serving the poor. The trip has dramatically changed her life. She came back to the United States and wept over the excess and greed. Meanwhile, her family waits for her to calm down and “get back to normal”. They lament the fact that she no longer has interest in spending money on anything other than Kenyan orphans. As her brother explained to me, “It’s great that she’s determined to make a difference, but I still want to go play golf and enjoy myself.”
This life is not about us. It never has been. The point of our life is to serve and glorify God. Everything we have is a gift from Him and is intended to be used for His purposes. Time has been running out from the moment they drove the nails into the hands of our Savior. Every morning you wake up is a day closer to the end of life as we know it. There is not a second to lose in living out our calling. It is our duty as followers of Jesus to spend every waking hour in the pursuit of the mission of Christ. I do believe in God-ordained rest, but we seem to have forgotten that God put a system in place that accounts for us resting every seventh day. Most of us consider the entire weekend to be the time we get to do whatever we want. We also consider the time after work to be ours. It’s why “happy hours” exist, right?
The truth of the matter is we have become lulled into mediocrity and irrelevance by giving into the rules of society and rejecting the commands of Christ. More often than not we serve no one other than ourselves. As Dave Ramsey is fond of saying, we fill our days buying stuff we can’t afford to impress people we don’t even like. Instead of loving others and investing in their lives, we love pleasure and invest only in our own entertainment. We seek to numb the gnawing hole in our soul with material things that never satisfy. The hole inside is only filled by Jesus. We long to stop the ache inside but have forgotten it is there because we are not fulfilling the purpose for which we were created.
It’s about Jesus, plain and simple. If you are filling your life with anything else, you are doomed to insignificance and possible horror when it is all said and done (Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus demands all of us. He doesn’t care what society thinks. He fights for truth, peace, unity, and justice. He fights to set the captives free (Isaiah 58:5-6). He came to save the lost (Luke 19:10). What’s your purpose? Do you value God or the things of this world? There’s only black and white; there is no gray (Matthew 12:30). What do you value most?