“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11 v 25 - 26
Some questions are more important than others. ‘Will you marry me?’, for example, carries a fair bit more weight than ‘what would you like to have for breakfast?’ But of all the questions that can ever be asked, have ever been asked and will ever be asked there is only one that truly matters.
All other questions only affect this life. Let’s say you pick the wrong spouse: it will only affect you until death does part you. But the question Jesus asks in the above verse is not like this. It doesn’t just affect your present life the answer is of eternal importance. All questions end in death except this one.
“Do you believe this?”
Have you ever wondered if there’s more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?
Yes, except those times I look in the mirror and think maybe not. Ahem. Levity aside the question begs an even more interesting question: what would life be like if it were only all about being really, really, ridiculously good looking? If all the world’s a cat walk and all the men and women are merely models? Imagine, if you will, what would life be like if the fashion industry was transposed over all reality. Horrifying thought isn’t it? No room for any other quality except personal attractiveness. The whole of humanity striving to be beautiful with no other aim, goal or desire.
Or let’s pick another scenario where life is all about money. Everyone is like those damn bankers. The only motivation in life is to be rich or die trying. Greed is the only quality worth cultivating. The poor are seen as ‘unholy’ whilst the rich are above and beyond anyone.
Now let’s put our minds to wondering what would happen if all of life was about being happy. Can you imagine how futile that would be? Searching high and low for happiness will only make you unhappy because perfect happiness is an empty promise and unachievable ideal.
What about one closer to home? What if life was all about you? If the only purpose to existence was you and you only? All that mattered was your opinions, your ideas, your ego, your feelings, your wants, your dislikes. If the earth revolved around you then selfishness, pride and self love would soon become the only attributes worth having. There would no room for love for love is inherently selfless. Well, that’s not quite true you would love yourself. I imagine life would be rubbish. I just need to think of the number of times I’ve let myself down to know that dedicated my life to me and me only would be an exercise in futility.
This article strays a lot more into the Ben Mildred view of things than the biblical view of things. Upon further reflection I may not agree with myself or entirely what I was getting at. Still, feel free to read it anyway.
It’s a funny old world; there was I thinking I was done with my ramblings on what it means to be a man when Mr Long Legged Cleggy Weggy (aka Nick Clegg) goes and embarrasses himself by announcing that he cries and has feelings. As one memorable comment on the internet said: “What a complete tit this Clegg man is.”
Now let me get this straight: I don’t have anything against men crying. Qualification: It has to fall under the following three categories: the death of a loved one, a heart broken by love, injustice or poverty or as a sinful man weeping before his Father God.
What I hate is when men cry for the wrong reasons: out of self pity, for little things of little importance or just because they’re, you know, really emotional people. The problem with Nick Clegg’s confession is that it makes him look weak and pathetic. Paradoxically enough there can be nothing more moving than a broken man crying. Indeed, there can be a lot of strength to a man’s tears.
It’s a solid biblical principle to say that in the overwhelming majority of cases God gives a lot of warnings to people before he deals with them according to their sins. We see this on a global scale with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the numerous wars going on, the unrest in Arab countries, the economic crisis in the West and in other acts of God’s wrath against this sinful and fallen world. As Jesus says:
“Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Luke 13 v 2 – 5
The pain, suffering and death of this world we live in are warnings to all of us that God’s wrath is set against sin! We would do well to heed those warnings. But we see it as well on an individual level. God will often send us warnings about sin that we still allow in our lives. At least, that is how I have found it of late. Largely because I’ve ignored the quiet warnings and then God has shouted and the consequences have been extreme.