Paul's Ponderings

Thoughts about following Jesus

Life is Important

Life is infused with importance.

We know that life is important because of the emotions that we experience as we move through life.

Life is important so we are excited on Christmas morning as gifts are opened. Life is important so we cheer as our team wins the championship in the final seconds. Life is important so we attend the wedding of a close friend and smile when the groom kisses the bride. Life is important so we offer congratulations to the recent college graduate.

The emotions of pride, excitement, hope, compassion, and love remind us that life isn’t mundane and ordinary. Life is of great importance.

It is crucial that we understand why our lives are important.

I think a mistake we often make is to think that the importance of life is found in these wonderful moments.

If life becomes about the gifts, the game, the wedding, and the graduation then live is just a series of events and we loose the greater narrative of what life is supposed to be about.

If we make life about the moments, then sooner or later our life will lose its importance. The moments can’t last and sooner or later they will begin to disappoint us. The gifts wear out, championships fade, marriages end, and degrees loose their value.

Yet, even in this reality we discover that life is important. The negative emotions of life remind us that each experience of life is important. We were meant to experience excitement, joy, pride, success, and love. It is tragic when those things are taken from us.

If life doesn’t draw its value from the moments and experiences of life, where does life gain its importance?

27 So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”  (Genesis 1:27-28; NLT)

The importance of life comes from the reality that we are created in the image of God.

Being the image of bearers of God means more than having free will, creativity, or a soul. It means that we are to demonstrate God’s character in this world.

Life is important because we have a purpose. There is a larger meaning to our lives, and the more we are able to embrace this purpose the fuller and richer our lives become.

I wish this was the entire explanation behind the importance of life. It is not. There is an ugly side of life. A side that robs our lives of purpose and meaning.

That ugly side is sin.

Sin is nothingless than rebellion against God.

We were created to reflect God’s grace and love into the world, but sin corrupts that image. Rather than seeking to reflect God’s image we seek to promote ourselves. That is the truth we learn from Adam and Eve’s choice to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The temptation the Serpent throws at Adam and Eve is that they can be like God.

In other words, instead of looking to God and reflecting His holy character, we decide life is about us. It is about our ability to shine our character, a character  that has become corrupted when disconnected from the life and love of God.

The reason life feels mundane and meaningless is because we have made life about ourselves, and we simply lack what it takes to create purpose for life.

This is why the Gospel is crucial for life:

1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.  (Colossians 3:1-4; NLT)

In Christ Jesus we are given a new life.

No longer do we need to try to discover meaning in the moments of life. Now we can have life because the life of Jesus infuses our life with purpose.

For this to happen we need to stay connected with to Jesus (John 15:1-5). According the apostle Paul we are able to do that as we set our minds on Jesus and his character. (To think about the things of heaven doesn’t mean to imagine what heaven is like, but to think about the values of heaven: the values the made up the life of Jesus.)

Life has meaning. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done, you will experience moments of joy, pleasure, and purpose. Sin cannot erase completely the importance God infused into life.

For us to experience life at its fullest and to be good stewards of the life we have been given requires being connected to Jesus. As we follow Jesus we will discover that life will continue to increase in value, because we will be able to see life the way God originally created it.

Follow Jesus and enjoy the life God has for you to live.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you Paul for your great work.
    Well done!

    Dan F.

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