I, for one, am getting just about sick to my stomach over what I hear leaking from the mouths of my fellow Christians. If I didn’t relegate my umbrage to a singular focus, I’m not sure I could stop after having begun typing this morning. Thus, I’ll corral my ire to a specific and narrow range of butt hurt.
I’m asking you, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to think long and hard about the idea of this existence on this Earth. Does God truly intend on you and I enjoying our lives in the human sense more so than any other life we can inherit? We’re told in no uncertain terms we killed Jesus – the risen God who walked the earth – son of the Lord. He traded his life and embraced suffering for us. But why? So we could live our best lives now?
NO… Jesus gave himself so we could choose, if we want, to commit to him and be reborn unto Him. And the benefit of committing to Christ is exactly what? We’re given an afterlife in Heaven with Him.
If given the choice between an Earthly life full of joys and sorrows, and that of either Heaven or Hell, wouldn’t the afterlife infinity be the better of those? I think so. So why in the wide world of sports would someone, a pastor with a large sphere of influence of all people, offer you the idea and title of a book that explains how to live your best life now? Some might quibble over the title and the implication. That I can understand. You might be able to make the case Joel is offering you ways to do the best you can with what you’ve got given diligence to Christ-like behavior. That might wash, IF he actually portrayed that in the title and the book. However, that isn’t what is offered us.
Rather, what we see is mostly fluff, frills, and pageantry. What Joel skips are a couple small, nearly irrelevant things, for us to continually ponder rightly. Sin would be a good example. Sin isn’t really discussed. Do you ever wonder why that is?
I’ve heard it said, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” by more than one person. I happen to believe this. As should you. Joel, for reasons I think you’ll deduce, avoids things like the discussion and extrapolation of sin.
So, let’s skip the understanding of sin, what constitutes sin, where to recognize it, when we are sinners, and how to avoid continued sin. Let’s live it up in the here and now. That’s what God expects of us, right?
I’m of the firm impression the title above is apropos. Yes, my brothers and sisters, you can and should make every effort to live well. But you should be very careful to understand that good as defined by Him, is far different that good defined by Joel. Know the difference and live it.
Be salt and light my friends…