Welcome back everyone! I spent the last week on vacation with my family, and after that and our month-long series on the Super Seven paradoxes, it’s about time we get back to our usual undisciplined philosophical mish-mash. This week, we’ll be following along with our YouTube channel and revisiting a recent topic: what do you choose today?
Ancient manuscripts make a lot of promises to the faithful, but among the most extraordinary is that of a life “beyond our imagination.” So what does that actually mean? I mean, I’m a fairly imaginative guy. I can easily imagine a bigger house, a larger practice, easier circumstances for my work. I can imagine season tickets to the Titans. I can imagine a Titans team that doesn’t suck.
Would any of that make me happy?
Heck, I’ve had most of those things at one point or another—and I was happy for the most part, but not because of that. I’ve talked with a fair number of believers about this, and almost none of them feel that their life is truly “beyond imagination.” Now, I guess we could lay the blame on them and call it a day, but when a failure is this systemic, it’s much more likely that the fault lies with the system. Not with God’s laws, you understand, but with our interpretation of them.
The culprit, I think, is one of the usual suspects. In this case: our natural human tendency to think of everything in terms of cause-and-effects, cost and reward, and with creating a false distinction between process and results.
Let’s take a look at another of those promises: that those who believe in Jesus will be without sin. Not just forgiven, but without sin. This took me forever to understand, because it was totally at odds with my upbringing (my father lived in constant fear that he might have a stray lustful thought and then get hit by a car before he had time to repent, thus dooming him to hell).
But the alternative doesn’t stop at absolution. Consider that “sin” essentially just means missing the mark, a glitch in the machine, you might say. Therefore, a life without sin means not just virtue (which sounds like a chore that merely makes life easier for everyone else), it means the highest functioning life we could possibly have. It means being justified by faith and freed, not from earthly accountability, but from the spiritual burden of our mistakes. Free to live each day and hour in love, for no other reason than a willingness to put love before everything else.
Can you imagine literally everything you do turning into a source of love in your life, just because love is what you want and pursue most?
Have a blessed, wonderful day!
Dr. Alex Loyd