We Will Only Find Meaning with God
We Will Only Find Meaning with God
A person’s value comes from the truth that God made him and, more than that, died for him. But very often people rob themselves and others of value by focusing on earthly things.
People attempt to find meaning for themselves in earthly things. We can see all around us people who base their identities in their hobbies, careers, accomplishments, and possessions. This inevitably leads them to try to compete with those around them. This attitude of comparison is very dangerous. If we compare ourselves to others, often we will feel worthless because we don’t measure up to them. And, if we feel that we are far more important than those around us, then we stand ready to fall. Either reaction makes us vulnerable to the perceptions of others and what they say about us. Additionally, when we focus on appearances and earth’s stuff it’s very easy to make ourselves the standard of who we are. When we define ourselves independently of God, we will eventually fall into either great arrogance or into great despair. It’s impossible for us to conquer our own weakness and limitations without God.
In chapters 2 and 3 of Colossians, Paul tells the Christians to set their minds on things above rather than the things of earth. If the Colossians heed Paul’s words, they will respond by anchoring their identities in God. In doing this, they will make their Creator the ultimate source of their value and the One who defines who they are. Paul also wants his readers to adopt the qualities and attitude of Christ their Savior-- to be more like Him! Growing to be more like Christ will result in these people living with humble dependence on God. And with God as their confidence and hope, they will be freed from the weight of the world’s perceptions. The Colossians need to define themselves with Christ and be rooted in the life and meaning that He offers. We’re also supposed to change by following God and He’s
asking for us to make a complete transformation.
...Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth... You also lived your lives in this way at one time, when you used to live among them. But now, put off all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it.
How beautiful it is that we can choose true life with God rather than the false life of the world. To inherit this true life, we must cling to God imitate the mind and deeds of Jesus. Paul tells us that Christ is our life. I have no idea how to explain that sufficiently except that through offering up His own life He made it possible for us to share in it. Even now we can share in it to a certain extent. As we live, our lives need to be hidden with Christ’s. This isn’t only a
reassuring thought of comfort. It’s also a truth about a Christian’s identity: A life hid with Christ is taking the backstage as Christ’s takes the forefront. It’s Christ’s life that is on display and all lives that are resurrected are His. Value is not from things that pass away but from God. We’re created to inherit the kingdom prepared for us by becoming transformed into people like Jesus: humble, trusting, faithful, brave, and kind.
I’ll end here by sharing C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on the topic:
“Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. ...The principle runs through all life from top to bottom, give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity ~Andrew Outcalt