Thoughts on Value


I have so many questions. So many. I have more questions than I have answers for and I don’t feel smart or wise at all. When people ask me for my opinion or advice, or I’m faced with a doubt (yes I do doubt), I don’t usually know what to say or do, so I ask as many questions as possible, I ask mostly to God, admittedly sometimes in argument, and I explore, and I ask myself and others “What about looking at things from this perspective? How about this other one? How about this one?” I’ve found that most people don’t like the discomfort of truly thinking deeply about issues and concerns. More and more I get the impression that most people these days are so “comfort and security driven” that even in their thinking process the goal is safety and comfort. The question is no longer “What is really of value?” but “What will get me to safety and comfort fastest?” Come to think of it, we unknowingly do answer the “What is really of value?” question when our thinking is guided by comfort and security. We show that we value comfort and security most. This is why many can’t be bothered to ponder or discuss issues and heavier topics. We would rather have the more comfortable variation. We like personal spirituality, finding an inner equilibrium to achieve the life we’ve always wanted but we don’t like the Christ-likeness of disadvantaging ourselves that others may see the life-laying love of Christ. We don’t like anything that threatens the safety and comforts of right decision-making, wisdom, rationality, and fairness. Question: Maybe, just maybe, martyrdom is at the essence of Christianity. Maybe it is, out of faith, hope, and love, living excellently that we may, from the overflows of our life, envelope others in a love so excellent, and they by their own decision, not my coercion or scare tactics or high-brow theology, CHOOSE to turn to Jesus and let Him, the true suitor, show them His LOVE. Maybe it means, after all that excellent living, it means letting others take advantage of us, not in foolish ignorance, but in wise faith, knowing that the world may take our possessions, positions, and even our lives, but they cannot take away the love that surrounds and permeates me, that though all of you disagree, though you penalize me, and though I suffer, I know what I have is true. More than that, it is knowing we please God by truly loving others. Jesus, very nature God, the epitome of excellence, lowered Himself bellow man, the epitome of potential gone wild, endured the political, cultural, and religious disagreements, the painful penalties, and the public shame to start and perfect a love affair with me. And it made Him happy. It brought joy to Him. It made Him happy to be the fool, to be the scapegoat, to be the guilty, to open His heart to the unfaithful, to love me. (Hebrews 12:2) Why me? I can only offer an idea: it’s not just me. His love touches everyone. Maybe when one is so full of love true, unpolluted love, maybe that love blasts out like the light of the sun, maybe it naturally makes better all that it touches, all that it encounters… … Maybe we get in the way. Maybe as we are made better we forget that love that saved us in the current security and comfort and so forget to reflect that love to others. Maybe we’re too scared to rock the boat of security and comfort that we would rather just “enjoy” activity partners and not truly journey and grow with them. Maybe in our quest for the life we thought we wanted we traded away the love we really needed. This I know, the religious and irreligious have this in common: we’re smarter about everything we believe, or so we think. The day’s wisdom is a regurgitation of past ideas. But the violence continues, so does the poverty, and corruption, and so do our personal battles and struggles. Maybe it’s not just about being right. And it’s sure not about being wrong. Maybe it’s not just about principles and excellence. Maybe it’s about partnering the excellence of our lives with excellent love. Maybe it means we become strong to stoop down to lift the weak. Maybe it means we become wise to patiently guide the lost. Maybe it means we become rich to ransom those in debt. Maybe it means we grow in so much love that we can offer love to those who choose to break our hearts over and over and over again.