Something upsetting happened today and I had a fleeting feeling of ‘life is not fair’. I say fleeting because I have learned the hard way that life definitely isn’t fair and that when things happen that we don’t like we have to go forward and make the best of it. It’s like when someone goes on a trip around the world and your holiday consists of a long weekend visiting family. Not that there’s anything wrong with visiting family, but you get what I mean. There’s a great contrast. Everything in life is relative. If I have a car that gets me from A to B and you have a Porsche and a Range Rover I will think you are rich. But the guy who only has a bicycle feels like I am privileged. Someone who walks wherever they have to be and lives in a shack might envy the man with the bicycle.
I was speaking to a missionary and she said that even though finances are really tight, she reminds her children that they are building a mansion in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-20, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
How do we teach our hearts not to be attached to earthly things and earthly treasures when that is what we can see and what we are dependent on to survive daily. It’s a hard thing because it is so acutely real. The Bible says if you don’t work you won’t eat, but what if you can’t find a job? I live in a place where the unemployment figures are really high. If I drive through one township I at any given time there are many, many people who are doing nothing because there isn’t employment available for them. We live in a country with an unemployment rate of 27.6% which means more than six million people don’t have jobs. Yesterday’s newspaper said that the figure is 37%! It is a very serious matter. When people are employed and can take care of their families, they feel useful and worthy. When you have children to feed but you don’t have money to buy food you can easily fall into depression or even resort to crime. Where unemployment is high so is alcohol abuse, drug abuse and domestic violence. It sounds so depressing, and if that’s what we concentrate on it will cause us to become depressed.
The only answer to this problem is Jesus. If people can realize that there is hope, they can live differently.
In Luke 16 Jesus tells the parable of the unjust steward. The steward cheated his way back into his master’s favour.
Verse 8, So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
Look what the Message says, Verse 8-9, “Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”
To me this means that there is a different way of living that we might me missing. This takes me back to Matthew 6:33, (once again in the Message), People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Are we serious enough about our relationship with our Father or are we just playing games? Are we radical Jesus followers, or are we sitting on the fence between the Kingdom and the world? Let us all stand up and raise up our hands and raise our standards and raise our faith. Let us be salt and light and let us never become one with this world or conform to its thinking. We are God’s children and as such we are to straighten our crowns and claim the victory over evil.