WHAT IS AN AUTHENTIC LIFE?
An authentic life starts with a prayer: “I offer you this half hour of my swim for … who is struggling… or any other cause.” So that you “pray continuously” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 So while you are cleaning windows, you simply offer this hour of cleaning for thanksgiving for your family. You offer the actions of your life to God as a prayer. This is the secret on how the busy modern person can find intimacy with God. The interior effect of the work we do becomes more important than the exterior fruits of our work.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Henry Thoreau in Walden Pond. We all know how people’s lives have become faster and busier every day. It seems as though many people are living merely to survive. The treatment for depression today is ten times greater than previous times.
We lose the reason why we are here: what is the meaning and purpose of our life? If we become distracted from our purpose long enough, we become miserable. Our modern life has become a distraction from our real Christian goal in life. We either don’t know what this goal is or we cast it aside. Even worst — this goal seems to make people uncomfortable so the goal is watered down. Ironically, if you take away the goal of the Christian life, you don’t make it easier to live — you make it harder.
You are much happier when you have a higher standard to look to and strive for. Having a meaningful goal flood your spirit with hope and fills your mind with determination.
In truth, holiness is something that God does in us and not something we achieve. God is still the perfect Gentleman. He invites us to participate in His life, but He never forces Himself on us. He wants our consent because he desires our loving cooperation.
Those who respond to God’s call to holiness are the most joyful people on earth. They have richer, more abundant experience of life and they love more deeply than most people. They enjoy life — all of life.
How do you know that you are close to holiness? You have an insatiable desire to become all God created you to be: and unwavering commitment to the will of God and an unquenchable concern for unholy people. You are continually answering God’s invitation to grasp the moments of your life — perhaps being sensitive to a divine appointment that God has aligned for you. You tap into the grace of God, which is never lacking. In this way you are giving glory to God.
The Idolatry of Wealth and Reevaluation of Treasure
Our holiness is compatible with every state in life. Even the rich are called to live holy lives by using their wealth in productive ways that foster their own growth and the growth of others.
“Idolatry? Who can tell me what that word means?” A nine-year-old’s hand shot into the air. “It’s like what some people do with money—they make it more important than God.” The wisdom of these simple words reverberated through the Sunday school classroom.
Christians are called to reject the idolization of wealth in the modern consumerist society. Instead, they are invited to make productive use of material wealth for the ministries of God.
So long as individuals maintain a greater attachment to worldly possessions than to God, they will find it harder to enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel to pass through the eye of the needle.
WEALTH IS NOT GREED!
The all-consuming desire to possess riches and temporal material comfort is a barrier between humanity and God, for you cannot serve both God and wealth. Matthew 6:24
Indeed, those who utilize their material wealth for the good of others further their relationship with God. For in every individual in need of food, drink, clothing, shelter, or comfort, there is God. Matthew 25:34-40
Christians are called to be good stewards rather than owners of their material blessings, multiplying them in accordance to their ability.
When humanity is entrusted with the material and spiritual gifts of God, it is called to use its material wealth for the glory of God, and like the servants of the Parable of the Talents, Christians are called to freely and willingly return the talents to God upon His request, and for this careful stewardship, they will be richly rewarded in heaven.
The treasure of heaven is far greater than any temporal wealth, and the abundance of grace which flows from Christ’s life far surpasses any earthly comfort.