My aunt is dying but it is expected as she is one hundred and two years old. I will miss our phone conversations. I was hoping to get to see her again. (She lives a long distance away.) She doesn’t miss a beat. Her hearing and her vision are intact. She plays Scrabble and is a worthy opponent.
As she is dying, my two adorable grandsons are playing in the sunroom, their lives just beginning.
I’m struck by the fact that humans are the only mammals that are aware they will die. While a survivors instinct appears to exist in all creatures, the foreknowledge of certain death is absent.
Wouldn’t it seem then that because we humans are aware of our mortality, we would live our lives differently? That everyone would be kinder and more loving because they are aware of this?
And yet, we all know this isn’t true.
I think there is only one answer.
Many, if not most, people don’t believe there is an after life. And of those that do, most don’t believe they will be accountable for their actions in that afterlife. So if that’s true (they reason within themselves) what does it matter what they do?
You would think that Christians then would have the market on goodness, huh? But they don’t. There are as many good people who claim no Christian beliefs as there are those that do.
It’s not supposed to be that way.
As Christians, our goodness is to exceed the goodness of non-believers. Jesus said that.
Matthew 5:19 & 20. .
“So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees , you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
I think that’s why Christians need to be the kindest, most loving, most generous people on this earth. Our goodness needs to exceed that of other good people. Sad to say, it doesn’t always.
I think we’ve perhaps lost our sense of uniqueness. We don’t even see ourselves as different. I think it’s important we look at the areas in our lives where we are too much like any non-believer. We are too comfortable with excusing our behavior with such verses as “God looks on our heart”, “God loves us just as we are.” that we use to condone our actions.
While these verses assure us of God’s love, they are not excuses. Besides, there is a far larger number of scriptures that tell us “how” to live as opposed to excuses for our failures.
So we shouldn’t be surprised that people live as if there is no “eternal” tomorrow. Christians don’t live much differently ourselves at times.
Maybe we should ask ourselves, “How do I dishonor God through my actions?” And then ask, “What actions do I need to change to bring honor to God”.
I found this website that made me say “ouch”. I hope you check it out. It’s a very basic and unadorned site, no bells or whistles. I checked out a number of articles and found them to be very accurate. (I never recommend a site or blog unless I’ve done a little homework first.)
I’m not suggesting for a minute that we act weird or strange and Jesus never said we should.
I’m also not trying to make anyone feel bad. But as I’ve written in the past that I believe in “The Examined Life”. It never hurts to take some time to evaluate and think about different areas of our lives.
Someone told me recently, I overanalyze things. While that is probably true at times, I would much rather be this way than stick my head in the sand. Besides, it’s too easy to get “stuck” with your head in the sand, isn’t it?
I urge you to ask yourselves the questions I posed earlier. We don’t have to be afraid to look at our lives. God encourages this journey into ourselves, “Search me, O, God….” Psalm 139:23.
God bless and have a good day.