There is a big difference between life as it is and life as God wants it to be. Life-as-it-is is a mixture of good and bad, truth and falsehood, love and indifference, hope and despair, but life as God wants it to be, in other words, life in the Kingdom of God, is pure goodness, truth, love and trust. The whole thrust of Jesus’ message was to stop being content with life-as-it-is and to live life as God wants it to be lived. This, however, calls for absolute commitment: “None of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.” (Luke 14:33) Nothing, not even the most precious of family ties, can be allowed to come between us and the life God wants us to live. (Luke 14:26-27). We might get carried along by gusts of enthusiasm for Jesus and his message but that is not enough. It is to a different way of life that we are being called. It is to a life where Christ sets the standards, where love reigns; where neither power nor pleasure, money nor possessions control us. It is a life with priorities different from many of the people around us, yet it is not entirely foreign for God who calls us into life-as-God-wants-it-to-be is also active in this divided, conflicted life although constantly being buffeted by the opposing powers. It is then for us to partner God in this conflict, to show that it is possible, with God’s enabling Spirit, to live life-as-it-should-be amidst life-as-it-is. Only then do we have the basis and the resources to be able to serve life-as-it-is as we are meant to do. If we have no values greater than those of the family, we have no grounds or resources to help family life be the love-filled community that God wants it to be. If we have no values greater than those of the society within which we live, we have nothing to contribute for the betterment of society. It is in the light of God’s disclosure of life as God wants it to be lived that we can discern what is really good, true, loving and enduring in everyday life.
- What is the difference between your experience of life as it is and life as God wants it to be?
- What part of Luke 14:25-33 suggests that gusts of enthusiasm for Jesus are not enough for the living of a Christian life?
- What needs to change if family life today is to become the family life that God wants it to be?
- Where do values in our society differ from the values of God’s kingdom?