Summary: Is your life a game? or something else? God tells you and me what our lives are.
What is Your Life all About?
Purpose Driven Life #5
August 30, 2003
What is on television says a lot about the times, and what is on these days says a great deal about our times. In particular, the game shows that are airing right now are declaring a lot about how we feel about life- at least what some people are thinking about life- it is my hope that this is not what we all think.
We have had a rash of programs like Survivor, Big Brother, Joe Millionaire, and Fear Factor. To look at these, we could conclude that, as metaphors of life, at least, or indicators of how people look at life, that we see life as being a contest. We might conclude that we see life as a contest where everyone can’t win- there can only be one winner and everyone else ends up with nothing. Then, again, we could conclude that life demands a certain amount of required nastiness. In all of these shows, which I’ve seen bits of over the past year or so, people get nasty. Alliances are necessary so that weaker people can overcome some others who are stronger. Nasty things are said about others and there is a lot of expression of hoping that someone doesn’t succeed. There is a lot of backstabbing. Again, this might indicate the belief that life really does not have enough and that one can have it and others have to settle for only the scraps that might be left. I hope life isn’t as antagonistic as these programs portray, but it must be for some. At least, many must think this is the way life really is.
We’ve heard it said that some believe that, in life, ‘he who dies with the most toys, wins’. This seems to be being reflected in current television.
I, seriously, hope that life is not, in general, like these programs portray it as being. Again, seriously, we all look at life in many different ways, and some do see life as a big game. Some see life as a racetrack to be negotiated. Some see life as a business. Some see life as a circle. Some see life as a timeline. Each of us would say something different, I think, to how we view life. How we each view life affects what we value in life and how we tackle life. I know that my view of life demands of me, unless I really keep it in check, a lot of doing and activity, and a fair amount of quickness about all that. You likely view it all a bit differently.
What we’ve been doing, over these past few weeks, is beginning to understand life as God sees it. We’ve been considering how God sees each one of us, as well as the incredible importance that we have to God. God has been involved in your life from long before you were aware of him and he may have been there before you were even conceived. At least, he was there from your beginning. This gives a colour and shape to life that is enriching. I’ve found that many of you have experienced that over the past month, already, and am gratified for your comments about that.
Ro. 12.2- tells us that we have to be willing to challenge conventional wisdom about what life is all about and replace that conventional wisdom with God’s ideas. We can simply look at life like those around us might; but they might not know God. However, it is vital for us, as Christ’s disciples, to look at life, as God does, and as we can view it, sitting with Jesus in the heavenly places, where we are with him. Our perspectives will be different, in many areas of life, and, as Christians, we MUST be willing to challenge the lower ideas of the world and allow Jesus to take us to the heavenly realm.
When we do this, we find that God, in His Word, gives us three metaphors for life, which we need to understand and live with, so that we do live the transformed life that He has called us to, and which He has offered us. These give a framework for the understanding of purpose that we’ll come to understand that God offers our lives. God tells us that life is a test, life is a trust, and life is a temporary assignment. We have to understand these so that we can put our lives in order so we can live with God’s purpose in our lives.
First of all, life is a test. In the Bible, we see that God tested many people and He did it continually. As he did that testing, he was looking to understand something about individuals’ character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. These are all words and values that aren’t rated highly enough in our world, today. Politicians tout their poor character as they express lack of understanding, for instance, of just what is sexual intercourse (words of an American President). Or, they declare that they are not filled with integrity and character, as they are not bound, as politicians, by their religious values (words of a Canadian Prime Minister). However, as Christians, we are called to a higher standard, and we do live under God, so have to understand what God is looking for and how He works toward that.