Friday, September 11, 2009
The Litmus Test of Eternity
I've never heard this taught within Christian circles, but I am convinced that Christianity teaches us that we can think of good as being that which is in our best interest for the longest term (ultimately eternity).
Lust isn't wrong because I might like it. It is wrong because it might give me short-term gain but long-term sorrow. Stealing isn't wrong because it might satisfy a desire for a material thing. It is wrong because it will satisfy that material desire temporarily (not to mention the fact that it harms my neighbor).
Don't get me wrong. There is a deeper definition of good, simply being defined as God's character. His character transcends us. It is not dependent upon us. God doesn't revolve around us. But where His goodness does touch us, we can think of it as I have defined above.
This is why Peter was rebuked by Christ when he spoke against Christ going to the cross. Peter couldn't see far enough into the distance to understand the meaning of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection. His myopia caused him to reject that which is good.
Without an eternal perspective, we'll misjudge goodness as well.
Sometimes God will look evil, especially in light of the suffering and evil we see and experience in this world. He can look evil in the light of the events that happened 8 years on this day (9/11).
It's often hard for me to believe, but Romans 8:28 says, "He works all things out for the good of those who love and Him and are called according to His purpose." At the same time, it is EASY to see how having such a positive attitude will bless my life.
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." - Psalms 34:8