Monday, October 6, 2014

Start with right-usefulness


If you are reading this online right now, you may have a mouse in your hand. Not the brown furry kind. The hard plastic kind that slides or rolls on a pad. Try something for me. Take the mouse (either kind) and see if you can use it to drive a nail into a two-by-four. I’ll wait; go ahead. OK, you’re back, and I can tell you are not happy about your dead mouse. A mouse is useful for clicking on things on your screen. It makes a lousy hammer. Cars are made for what? Right, transportation over land. Try driving one through Lake Mackintosh sometime. You will be angry about your dead car. Water is made for what? Right, drinking, washing things, even weekly bathing. But if you drove into the lake with your car you would quickly find that water is not made for breathing. You would have some very unhappy lungs until they found air, which is made for breathing. Mosquitoes are made for what? I have no idea. OK, let’s skip mosquitoes.

One of the ways we can define righteousness is “right usefulness.” Using a mouse to drive a nail is unrighteous. It was not created for that use. Trying to drive over a lake without a bridge is an unrighteous use of a perfectly good automobile. Drinking clean water is fine, but trying to breathe it is unrighteous. What’s my point? Every created thing, even mosquitoes, are “righteous” when they are serving the purpose for which they were created. So the big question, the one that matters most, is this: “What were you made for?” Even that will lead you down the wrong road until you realize that the question properly asked is, “Who were you made for?”

The only righteous answer is God. You and I were created by God, in His image, to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him, and to enjoy Him supremely over all of His creation. This foundational truth sets our life in a direction that will result in love, joy and peace. It doesn’t mean that our lives are without trials and suffering. Oh, no. In fact, for the follower of Jesus Christ, there will be persecution and suffering precisely because we hold to Him as our only hope. The Bible says, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” But those trials have a right usefulness as well, not to drive us away from the One who loves us, but to press us more deeply into His arms, and into a faith that cannot be shaken.

So the next question has to be, “What identifies you as a human being?” Or, “What do you see as your primary purpose for the threescore and ten that you walk the planet?” Some of you might say that your vocation defines you. Or your talent. Some might say your role in the home defines you, that you were put here to be a father or a mother. Some would answer, “I am defined by my sexuality.” Others would admit that a passion for money or power identifies them and gives their lives meaning. Some of you might even sadly agree that your life would be meaningless without gaming. Sigh.

Nothing will satisfy your soul and give your life the purpose for which you were created except the God who created you. Find people who really know Him and ask them if what I am saying is true.

Let me know what you hear. And if you know what mosquitoes are good for.

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