Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Best and Getting Better

I came to know of a up-coming wedding of a girl I used to know. I didn't know her well, but she was well-known; a respected and accomplished leader, intelligent, charming, kind, godly and beautiful. When you observe such people from a distance, they seem larger than life - too good to be true. Doesn't she have any flaws? Does anyone despise her for any reason other than pure jealousy?

Her love story posted online seemed likewise surreal, the kind of stuff that gets published or seen on the silver screen. Love at first sight with a perfect guy in perfect circumstances; a perfect proposal made with perfect timing. The perfect couple. I'm sure I'm not the first or only person to look upon them with green eyes wondering if I will ever be dealt a hand so 'ideal.'

How easy it is to compare our circumstances with others! And after we calculate the payouts we make our conclusions on the goodness of God to Us vs. Them. Usually, the smoothest ride in the nicest wheels to the most coveted destination with all your friends and family cheering you along the way is what wins the day. It's what we define as a successful, happy life. It's the thing we all long for in our default state when we're looking at the looking glass rather than through it; when we're focused on life in this world rather than the kingdom of God. While it's most natural to consider the value of our lives in terms of happiness, possessions and comfort, it is also most unnatural and unbiblical to actually view and live our lives in this way. It's unnatural because because we have been born of above and are no longer of this world. It's unbiblical because in Christ we have been given all things. Anything that we possess at any given moment is God's very best for us, whether that amounts to much or nothing. While it may not seem so according to the world's economy, we have been given every blessing and can ask for no more. In dying with Christ we have renounced the world and all its cheap temporal benefits. In its place we have opted for treasure of which moth and rust cannot destroy.

At times, we see the kindness of God when we (or others) receive gifts of material, relational or pleasurable worth - things highly desired in our world. But we need not receive these things in order for God to be good. He has already poured out his life unto death in the crucifixion of his beloved Son for our sin. The salvation that we have and the glory that will be revealed in heaven is great indeed, and we will be embarrassed at the intensity with which we sought after other things at the expense of things that truly mattered. What an insulting sin it is to think that marriage, or money, or monuments are anywhere near as precious.

Lord, help me not covet the petty and trivial things of this world which distract me from coveting you alone.

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